Russia revives oil-for-goods deal, proposed in 2014 but never implemented


Podcast: Trump Administration Seeks Regime Change in Iran

Russia has signalled that it may step up economic support for Iran, although it is unclear whether Moscow can or will fulfil any commitments.

Despite its own economic diffculties, Moscow indicated Friday that it will prop up the Islamic Republic as the Rouhani Government begins its second term. Energy Minister Alexander Novak (pictured) said a revised barter contract, with Russia supplying goods and commodities for crude oil, had finally been agreed.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh announced last month that the oil-for-goods contract had been signed, “The deal has been concluded….We are waiting for Russian oil companies to send tankers.”

The agreement was first declared in 2014, with some officials asserting that it would be worth up to $20 billion as Moscow obtained up to 500,000 barrels of oil a day in exchange for equipment and goods.

The deal was never completed, however, and in 2016, Novak said in 2016 that it was no longer necessary with the implementation of Iran’s nuclear deal with the 5+1 Powers.

In March 2017, the Russian Energy Minister shifted again, saying the plan was back on the table with Russia buying 100,000 barrels per day and selling $45 billion worth of goods. He said Russia’s state trading enterprise Promsirieimport has been authorized by the Kremlin to carry out the purchase of Iranian oil.

Russia’s Lukoil to Develoment Iran Oilfields “Within Months”

Russia’s energy company Lukoil said on Friday that it expects to sign oil development contracts with Iran within months.

Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said deals with Tehran could be signed in October and November, “Maybe this will not be a law, but rather an accepted contract, which will economically stimulate us to make investments.”

Last September, Alekperov announced that Lukoil was considering the development of the Mansouri and Ab Teymour oilfields in southwest Iran, and that it was studying a project in the Persian Gulf. Iran announced in January 2016 that Lukoil had won the bids for two exploration projects, worth $6 million, in Khuzestan Province.

Russia pulled out of its investments in Iran’s energy section in 2011 amid intensifying US sanctions.

Iran State Media Head Calls for Cooperation

On the cultural front, the head of Iran’s State news agency IRNA has hailed cooperation with the Russians during a visit to St. Petersburg.

Mohammad Khoddadi said cooperation in technological development was needed to counter “fake” news from international new agencies. He said “Iranian and Russian media outlets should be recognized as reliable sources”.

Iran’s Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, who is also the chairman of Iran-Russia Joint Economic Commission, attended the opening of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Thursday.