TEHRAN (Iran News) – Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Ali Salehabadi says a series of major banking agreements reached between Iran and Russia, including those concerning the use of mutual currencies for bilateral trade, will take effect soon.
Speaking in Moscow on Saturday after meeting senior Russian government officials, Salehabadi said that he had signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on banking and financial issues during his two-day visit to Russia.
“We will execute the MoUs reached during this trip in the near future and traders, merchants and economic agents will see the results of these agreements,” Salehabadi told the IRIB News.
Responding to a question about the possibility of using cards issued by Iranian and Russian banks in the two countries, he said there are still issues that should be sorted out.
The top banker also hinted that Iran and Russia may be able to link up their banking messaging systems in future.
The CBI chief said, however, that the new banking and financial MoUs reached between Iran and Russia will cement the growing economic and energy ties between the two countries.
In addition to meetings held with his Russian counterpart and CEOs of tops banks in Russia, Salehabadi also met Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak on Friday.
Iran and Russia have been seeking closer economic ties especially since February when Moscow came under a series of Western sanctions because of a military conflict in Ukraine.
Almost the entire banking system in both Iran and Russia are subject to foreign sanctions and access to international banking services is restricted for state and private banks in the two countries.
Meanwhile the Russian deputy prime minister in meeting with Salehabadi, for his part, emphasized that development of Tehran-Moscow economic and investment ties is considered as a priority and necessity, noting that Russia is fully prepared to follow up expansion of relationship.
There are very appropriate fields for development of economic and investment cooperation between the two countries, Novak said, adding that mutual understanding between central banks of both states is of great importance to pave the way for enhancing bilateral coordination and collaboration.
According to the Russian government’s official website, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasized, “We see significant growth in trade: 81 percent last year and 31 percent this year. Our countries’ leaders have set a goal to further promote cooperation. Our companies are interested in intensifying trade, so the development of cooperation in the financial and banking sector is among our priorities.”
During the meeting, the Iranian and Russian officials discussed the finance of investment projects in transport infrastructure as well as the oil and gas sectors, including petrochemicals and refining.
The governor of the Central Bank of Iran also met with Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maxim Gennadyevich Reshetnikov during his stay in Moscow.
Salehabadi and Reshetnikov held talks on joint investments as well as alleviation of obstacles in the way of mutual trade and expansion of banking and monetary cooperation.
Moreover, some heads of main Russian banks met with the CBI governor, holding discussions on expansion of coordination between Russian and Iranian banks.
Since Tehran and Moscow enjoy common interests in economic, military, and security affairs as well as friendly relationship pursue common policies on regional and international developments especially when it comes to taking stances in the face of the United States’ unilateral and interventionist strategies.