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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met today in Moscow starting with a one-on-one dialogue, and then continuing the international consultations an expanded format at a working lunch, reported the Kremlin. Participating in the Russian-Iranian narrow format talks were Russian Deputy Prime Minister and co-chairman of the Permanent Russian-Iranian Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation Alexander Novak; Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin. On the agenda were bilateral cooperation and upcoming Russian-Iranian projects in trade and economy, including transportation and energy. As of this writing, the Presidents’ extended talks were still going on, TASS revealed

“We can see that cooperation with our friendly country Russia has been progressing well over the past several years. We have made progress; there has been development. I believe that today’s talks will be able to facilitate the creation of new conditions for the implementation of the potentialities that our countries have,” Raisi commented, saying the two nations have been cooperating in the fields of “energy, agriculture, and education,” and that exchanges between universities were underway. “Substantial steps can certainly be taken in all these areas, which would be in the interests of our countries and people,” he said, reported TASS.

For his part Putin stressed the expansion of economic cooperation, including trade turnover. “The trade turnover increased by 20% last year and achieved good results. Our [trade turnover] is $5 billion,” the Russian leader said. “We have large infrastructural projects. We are discussing for a long time and have initiated at present practical implementation of North-South railway construction. Certainly, we are traditionally working in the energy sphere.”

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