• Iran, Russia discuss Superjets, trade in local currencies

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak says Moscow and Tehran have discussed deliveries of Sukhoi Superjet 100 passenger planes to Iran amid uncertainties about deals with Boeing and Airbus.

"We discussed the possibility of Sukhoi Superjet 100 purchase by our Iranian partners and outlined a plan of how this can be put it into practice," Russian media quoted him as saying in Moscow Tuesday.

He made the remarks after a joint commission meeting of the two countries’ officials, stating that the two sides also agreed on supplies of Russian-made vehicles, such as KAMAZ and UAZ buses and trucks, to Iran.

"Today we discussed the deliveries of rail carriages. We have already delivered 1,200 of them and plan to deliver about 3,000 in 2018," the Rossiya-24 TV channel quoted him as saying.

The two sides were also working to sign free trade documents between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union countries possibly in May, Novak said.

"The move to enter into a temporary agreement making for a free trade zone to be set up between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union,  which is currently at an advanced stage, will obviously trigger further development of our bilateral trade and expansion of investment cooperation," he said.

Talks on establishing a free trade zone between Iran and the group which includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan began in 2015.

Novak said Russia and Iran also need to step up work to increase their volume of trade in national currencies.

According to the Russian minister, bilateral trade in 2017 stood at $1.7 billion, but “there are still unresolved issues”.

“I think it is necessary to intensify the work in this direction with a view to ensure an increase in the volume of trade in our national currencies, and to further simplify the calculation procedures," Novak said.

Last month, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport for review by Iranian aviation experts and officials with the aim of possible purchases.

The 108-seat twin-engine SSJ-100 is among Iran's options for renovation of its fleet of regional jets, alongside Japan's Mitsubishi Regional Jet and Brazil's Embraer. However like Boeing and Airbus, the companies need clearance from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for trade with the Islamic Republic.

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Mar 07, 2018 13:20 UTC
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