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Russia has no plans to import Iranian oil, but its traders are ready to participate in its sale to third parties, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said this week, on the back of a new round of trade talks between the two countries in Tehran.
This comes just weeks after Iran and Russia signed a five-year memorandum of understanding to boost economic cooperation in a number of areas, including closer ties in the oil and gas, power and agricultural sectors, among others (MEES, 8 August).
Russian-fueled media speculation earlier this year suggested that the two countries were close to signing a $15-20bn/year deal, which would somewhat-implausibly see Russia taking up to 500,000 b/d of Iranian oil, in return for goods, services or infrastructure of equivalent value. After repeated denials from the Iranian side, and something of a ‘clarification’ from Moscow this week however, it appears no such deal is imminent.
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