MOSCOW: Iran and Russia on Thursday agreed to establish a joint bank in a bid which is meant to facilitate financial transactions between the two countries.
The agreement was announced by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) which said it was reached during a meeting between the visiting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and CBI chief Valiollah Seif.
The two also agreed for Iran to join the Eurasian Development Bank, the CBI announced in a statement.
Seif and Novak also emphasized that both Iran and Russia need to cooperate over the establishment of a major interbank network what they agreed is necessary to ease trade activities between the two countries.
Novak, for his part, emphasized that Russia is ready to provide credit lines as well as any other adequate financial facilities for the development of prioritized infrastructure projects in Iran.
He has been quoted in the CBI statement as saying that this will be pursued by the related institutions in Tehran and Moscow including the central banks of the two countries as well as their finance ministries.
The Russian minister, heading a 50-member delegation, arrived in Tehran on Wednesday to discuss joint economic projects.
Mahmoud Vaezi, Irans minister of communications and information technology, told reporters after meeting Novak in one of his earliest meetings in Tehran that Russia has pledged to issue a credit line of $5 billion for joint projects with Iran.
Vaezi said the credit line is expected to usher in a new era in Iran-Russia economic relations.
The Russian ministers next key meeting was with Abbas Akhoundi, Irans minister of roads and urban development, during which he was briefed on 121 projects in Iran that Akhondi said could be carried out at a total cost of 25 billion.
A key project, which the Iranian minister said Russia would be tipped to develop, concerns the establishment of an electric train service to connect the north to a key city east of capital Tehran through a total investment of $1.2 billion.
Novak also heard from Irans Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh that Iran is ready to swap Russian natural gas, oil, and oil products through its southern ports.
The Russian minister is expected to have more meetings with other Iranian officials during his two-day stay in Tehran that ends on Thursday.
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