By Nigar Abbasova
Iran has called for forming joint energy ventures with Russia in a bid to expand bilateral cooperation in oil and gas spheres.
Mohammadreza Nematzadeh, Iran's Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, has proposed to organize oil and gas joint ventures between the two countries, SHANA news agency reported.
Speaking at a meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the Iranian minister noted that the level of Iran’s exports to Russia has been halved over the last year, while Russia has doubled its exports to Iran.
Nematzadeh further called for creating a proper balance in the level of exports between the two countries through increasing Iran’s exports to Russia in the fields of raw materials, agricultural products, automobiles and automotive parts, medicinal drugs as well as equipment.
The Iranian minister also urged for cooperation between the two countries in helicopter and vehicle manufacturing.
In turn, the Russian minister vowed to make efforts aimed at increasing Iran’s exports to his country. Novak expressed Russia's interest in cooperation with Iran in vehicle manufacturing.
A Russian company is also expected to launch a plant in Iran for producing agricultural equipment, Novak added.
The current level of trade between the two countries stands at below $2 billion, while both countries are determined to double the index by the end of 2017.
Over the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (starting March 20), the Islamic Republic exported $86.5 million worth of goods to Russia. In the meantime, Iran imported $106.6 million worth of goods from Russia.
A major Russian trade delegation of around 600 business people led by Novak arrived in Iran on December 11 for three days of talks with their Iranian counterparts to explore ways to boost trade relations between the two countries.
As part of the visit, Russia's Gazprom Neft and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) signed a memorandum of understanding on December 13 for feasibility studies on the development of two oil fields.