Source: Tehran Times
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has rejected Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev's claim that Iran and Russia have made an oil-for-goods swap deal.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh
The two countries have only made agreements on the expansion of bilateral ties in the field of oil and gas, the Mehr News Agency quoted Zanganeh as saying on Wednesday.
The minister said Iran will benefit from technical and operational capabilities of Russian companies in implementation of its oil and gas projects.
He said he was unaware of the Russian minister's statement about an oil-for-goods swap deal between the two countries.
On December 4, Ulyukayev said Russia could begin shipping materials to Iran this year under an oil-for-goods deal.
"I don't exclude the possibility that realization [of the deal] will start before the end of the year," Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Moscow and Tehran - both of which are subject to Western sanctions - have been negotiating a barter deal to relieve the pressure on their economies.
The value of the deal is unclear. Reuters reported in January that the swap would be worth $20 billion annually, but more recent reports suggest it will be much smaller.
The agreement enables Iran to skirt Western measures curbing exports of its oil and would see Russia export grain and equipment, giving a much-needed boost to an economy slipping into recession amid the crisis in Ukraine.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier that Washington was "aware" of the Russia-Iran talks, and said the U.S. would act if it thought the barter deal violated international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
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