MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's participation in Iranian crude oil deliveries, including to Russia, does not violate UN Security Council resolutions restricting cooperation with Tehran over its controversial nuclear program, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday.
“The Iranian side has offered [Russia] to take part in arranging shipments of [Iranian] crude oil…the actual delivery volumes will be determined according to the market demand,” Novak said in statement.
“I’d like to emphasize that cooperation between our countries does not violate the UN Security Council's resolutions,” Novak said.
Moscow and Tehran signed a five-year memorandum of understanding on Monday aimed at boosting bilateral economic cooperation.
The accord also envisions Russia taking an active role in the construction and overhaul of Iran’s energy production facilities and electric grids. The next high-profile meeting between the countries’ delegations is in Tehran on September 9-10.
“Proposals will be discussed in greater detail within the framework of the upcoming September session at the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental standing committee on trade and economic cooperation. We have agreed with our Iranian colleagues to create the best possible conditions for their [the proposals] implementation,” Alexander Novak vowed.
The session is largely expected to focus on the details of Russian-Iranian cooperation and plans to boost bilateral trade.
The statement followed media reports that claimed the White House had sought to derail the Russian-Iranian agreement on crude deliveries with threats of tougher sanctions against both countries.
Washington has been harshly critical of stronger ties between Moscow and Tehran, saying the economic partnership runs counter to the existing restrictions on Iran and the interim nuclear accords that earlier suspended some of the sanctions, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper claimed earlier on Wednesday.
In January, Reuters sparked controversy when it reported for the first time that Moscow and Tehran had allegedly been mulling a goods-for-oil deal worth some $20 billion that could see Russia buying up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian crude a day in return for its goods and equipment.