Russia to provide $5bn state loan to Iran - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani during the talks in Tehran, Iran, November 23, 2015. © Sergey Guneev
Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow is ready to provide a $5 billion state loan to Tehran to promote industrial cooperation. Another ‎€2 billion export loan will be granted to Iran by Russian state lender Vnesheconombank.

Russia and Iran agreed on developing cooperation on Monday during President Putin’s visit to Tehran for the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

Putin held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

The two countries have selected 35 priority projects in energy, port facilities, and railway electrification, according to Putin.

"We [Russia and Iran – Ed.] plan to expand the dynamics of our bilateral relations. We will pay special attention to the diversification of trade and make a wider use of national currencies in mutual settlements," Putin said.

Russian Railways signed a contract to electrify 495 kilometers of railway in Iran worth ‎€1.2 billion. The three-year project will include building 32 stations and 95 tunnels.

The two countries are to continue nuclear power cooperation. The Russian President said the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is working at full capacity, and the construction of the second and third blocks is underway.

"Moscow is a strategic partner of Iran," said the Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zangeneh.

He is optimistic about future relations between Russia and Iran in the oil and gas sector and confirmed that Russian companies have been invited to participate in projects to develop gas deposits. It is expected that Gazprom will hold talks with Iran in the near future, Zangeneh said.