Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Iran to resume energy co-operation with Russia

Iran is to resume energy co-operation with Russia, despite the fact that Moscow backed UN sanctions against Iran earlier this year. Speaking about Russia's decision to support the UN, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, cited Iran's disregard of Western fears over its nuclear programme as the reasons for Russia's change of allegiance.

Russian and Iranian energy ministers have signed a "road map" outlining forthcoming business plans including the possibility of a mutually funded bank to subsidise bilateral projects, and expand co-operation scope.

Talking about the UN sanctions, Iranian oil minister, Masoud Mirkazemi, said that Iran has not felt any impact on its energy industry, and that the only impact of the sanctions was that felt by international oil producers who had worked, or intended to do so, in the Islamic republic. Several Russian oil giants including Gazprom, Gazprom Neft and LUKOIL have put their operations in Iran on hold due to the sanctions, but are expected to resume work once plans are finalised, in the fourth quarter of 2010.

"We have not discussed trading operations, but if there is commercial interest and attractive terms Russian companies are ready to supply oil products to Iran without any doubt. We are neighbours and if a big project to create a south-north transport corridor is implemented I believe that we will create long-term supply opportunities, including for oil products," said Russia's energy minister, Sergei Shmatko.

Source: Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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