Putin-Rouhani meeting round-up
Vladimir Putin has hailed Iran as Russia’s most reliable and stable partner
MOSCOW, March 28. /TASS/. Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a joint statement after their meeting in the Kremlin on March 28.
Iran nuclear deal
Putin and Rouhani have underscored the importance of all parties’ compliance with their obligations under the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.
"While stating the importance of this Joint Plan as a multilateral international document, approved by the UN Security Council, Russia and Iran emphasized the need for full compliance by all parties with obligations under this document. At the same time they stressed the fact that the Islamic republic of Iran has full legitimate rights to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty," Putin and Rouhani said in the statement.
Russia welcomed "Iran’s strict compliance with its obligations under the Joint Plan, confirmed by the IAEA, as well as its firm intention to strictly observe the agreements within the established deadlines."
Putin and Rouhani described in positive terms cooperation within the framework of the Joint Plan, "in particular, the signing of the contract for pre-project works to alter the two cascades of gas centrifuges in Fordow for the production of stable isotopes and stressed the need for its prompt implementation."
Iran plans to continue cooperation with Russia on issues of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of 2015, Rouhani said.
"As for the JCPOA, cooperation between our countries will be continued. Both sides reiterated their course towards the strengthening and implementation of the JCPOA and towards coordination of our cooperation on issues of peaceful use of nuclear energy," he said.
The Iranian president hailed Russia’s assistance in reaching the agreements on the Iranian nuclear program and its role in helping Iranian industry switch to peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The joint statement says Russia and Iran are unanimous that the NPT treaty is a corner stone of non-proliferation, of building up nuclear disarmament efforts and of using nuclear power for peaceful purposes."
"Russia and Iran, supportive of the idea of converting the Middle East into a nuclear-free region, confirmed that the resolution on the Middle East, adopted at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, will stay in effect until its aims have been achieved," the resolution runs.
Moscow and Tehran believe unilateral sanctions against countries to be illegitimate. "Imposing unilateral sanctions against countries is illegitimate," the statement reads.
The two presidents emphasized the need to continue joint efforts aimed at building a just world order based on international law, namely the United Nations Charter, as well as at solving global issues. "By boosting bilateral cooperation, Russia and Iran seek to enhance the central coordinating role of the United Nations in ensuring peace, security and sustainable development, and to further improve its effectiveness," the statement adds.
Russia and Iran stand for elaborating rules under the UN aegis for states’ conduct in the information space and have denounced the use of the IT-sphere for harmful purposes.
"Russia and Iran expressed their concern over the steadily rising number of the instances of using information and communication technologies for criminal, terrorist, military and political goals," the statement reads.
"The sides have denounced the attempts of using force or the threat of force in the information space, such as an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities with the help of the Stuxnet malware, and also any attempts to involve information and communication techniques for harmful purposes," according to the statement.
Putin and Rouhani also "pointed to the need to elaborate under the UN aegis the rules of the states’ responsible behavior in the information space and noted the readiness of Russia and Iran to develop cooperation in this direction," the document reads.
Situation in Afghanistan
Russia and Iran will continue efforts to help Afghanistan strengthen its statehood and call for the implementation of measures to uproot drug production in that and other countries.
"Putin and Rouhani expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, over the growth of terrorist threats from extremist forces in that country," the document says. "Russian and Iran reiterate their commitment to continue assistance to Afghanistan’s efforts to strengthen its state system as a peaceful, democratic, independent and prosperous sate."
The two presidents hailed the launch of the Moscow dialogue aiming to find the ways to promote peace settlement in Afghanistan and to give an impetus to the process of national reconciliation in that country.
Apart from that, the Russian and Iranian presidents "expressed mutual concern over the growth of drug production in Afghanistan which poses a threat to peace and stability, socio-economic development and security of Afghanistan and other states," the statement stresses. "The sides pointed to the necessity of the implementation of concrete measures to eliminate global production of drugs, including to uproot illegally sowed narcotic-containing crops and to do away with their processing."
Iraq’s territorial integrity
Russia and Iran support preserving Iraq’s territorial integrity, stand for lifting the blockade on Yemen, positively assess the Lebanon political process and express the hope for the fair settlement of the Palestinian problem.
"Russia and Iran state their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq, the efforts taken by the Iraqi authorities aimed at fighting terrorism represented by the Islamic State [a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] and other extremist groupings, and also at restoring control of the country’s territories seized by such groupings," the joint statement reads.
"The sides resolutely denounce the terrorists’ crimes against the Iraqi people, including the crimes aimed against the national and religious minorities and the cultural heritage of Iraq," according to the statement.
In their joint statement, Putin and Rouhani also voiced concern "over the continued destructive war in Yemen" and spoke "for the quickest termination of clashes and the bloodshed," and also stressed "the need to settle this crisis politically as part of a nation-wide dialog."
"Warning about the grave humanitarian and economic consequences of the crisis for the Yemeni people, Russia and Iran stated the need to step up efforts in this direction and, in particular, noted the importance of lifting the economic and humanitarian blockade of Yemen and sending humanitarian aid to that country," the statement reads.
As for the situation in Lebanon, Putin and Rouhani positively assessed and welcomed cooperation of the country’s political groups in solving the issue of electing the president and forming the government.
"The sides consider the accords reached by them as a good example for solving the remaining Lebanese problems and also for settling internal disagreements in other states of the region," the joint statement says.
"The presidents who expressed the hope for the fair and sustainable settlement of the Palestinian problem stressed the need for the exercise of the national rights of the Palestinian people," the document says.
Global energy balance
Russia and Iran will cooperate in oil export limiting for stabilization of the global energy market.
"Putin and Rouhani hailed agreements of OPEC and non-OPEC countries contributing to demand and offer balancing on the oil market in an acceptable price range and supporting investment attractiveness of the oil sector." the statement says.
"Russia and Iran will continue cooperating in this sphere for purposes of global energy market stabilization and provision of sustainable economic growth," the statement says. "The parties agree to continue meaningful interaction within the framework of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum aimed at forming a fair balance of interests of gas producers and consumers and at wider application of this efficient and ecofriendly kind of fossil fuel in the global energy balance, particularly for purposes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Development of large hydrocarbon fields
Russian companies have reached agreements on development of major hydrocarbon fields in Iran.
"We see good potential to broaden interaction in the oil and gas sector. Leading Russian companies reached a series of important agreements on development of large hydrocarbon fields in Iran," the Russian leader said.
Russia and Iran discussed extension of cooperation in supplies of hydrocarbons, including to third countries.
"Particular attention was paid to expansion of cooperation in the oil and gas sphere, particularly to implementation of joint projects in the territory of Iran in the sphere of exploration, production and transportation of raw hydrocarbons, including to third countries, technology transfers, swaps and construction of related infrastructure," the document says.
The parties also agree to continue interaction within the framework of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, "aimed at forming a fair balance of interests of gas producers and consumers and at wider application of this efficient and ecofriendly kind of fossil fuel in the global energy balance, particularly for purposes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Russia and Iran support agreements of OPEC and non-OPEC countries contributing to demand and offer balancing on the oil market in an acceptable price range and supporting investment attractiveness of the oil sector in the joint statement:
"Russia and Iran will continue cooperating in this sphere for purposes of global energy market stabilization and provision of sustainable economic growth."
Export credits extension
Russia informed Iran about completion of internal procedures for extension of two export credits to Iran.
"The Russian party informed Iran about completion of domestic government procedures required for entry into force of the agreement between governments of two nations on extension of a state export credit for Iran to finance construction of a thermal power plant and the agreement on provision of a state export credit for Iran to finance electrification of Garmsar - Ince-Burun railway segment, signed in Tehran on December 13, 2016," the statement says.
Implementation of projects stipulated by these agreements will promote investment and trade-economic cooperation between Russia and Iran, the parties said.
Furthermore, Putin and Rouhani stressed "importance of more active interbank cooperation, including between central banks, and importance of using national currencies in mutual settlements."
Iran’s Bushehr NPP
The first block of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant reached the design capacity and documents for construction of the second and the third blocks undergo coordination, Putin said.
"The first block of Bushehr NPP built by Rosatom reached the design capacity, operates steadily and generates electric power for the Iranian economy. Documents for construction of the second and the third power blocks of the plant undergo coordination," Putin said.
Russia is providing significant aid to Iran in the nuclear sphere, the president said. "Our interaction is implemented in strict compliance with international law, IAEA requirements and subject to all provisions of the comprehensive action plan in respect of the Iran’s nuclear program," Putin added.
SSJ-100 aircraft and helicopters deliveries
Moscow and Tehran discussed an opportunity of supplying SSJ-100 aircraft and helicopters to Iran.
"Ways of expanding cooperation in machine-building and in the civil aviation sector were discussed during negotiations. Potential deliveries of modern medium-range Sukhoi SuperJet-100 aircraft to Iran and helicopters for national ambulance aviation are on the agenda," Putin said.
Putin and Rouhani support the idea to hold a bilateral forum on inter-regional cooperation until the year ends.
"The parties pointed to a high level of cooperation between the regions of Russia and Iran and stated their intention to fully support this field of interaction," the statement reads. "Putin and Rouhani upheld the idea to arrange a Russian-Iranian forum on inter-regional cooperation either in Astrakhan or Sari before the end of 2017. Regional heads and representatives of the two countries’ business circles could attend the forum," the statement adds.
"We have agreed with our Iranian counterparts to fully support the development of direct ties between our countries’ regions and to arrange a Russian-Iranian inter-regional cooperation forum in Astrakhan until the end of the year," Putin said following his talks with Rouhani.
Russia and Iran will create favorable conditions for counter-deliveries of foods and use of national currencies in mutual settlements.
Turnover between Iran and Russia surged by more than 70% in 2016, Putin said. This is "a good result indeed," particularly in conditions of unstable global market situation and volatility remaining on commodity and forex markets, he added.
"It was recognized important to proactively work on implementation of the coordination roadmap in trade and industry; importance of creating favorable conditions for counter-deliveries of agricultural products and foods, for development of interbank relations and use of domestic currencies in mutual settlements was noted," the Russian President said.
Easing visa restrictions
Moscow and Tehran will consider further joint steps aimed at easing visa restrictions for certain categories of Russian and Iranian citizens.
"Putin and Rouhani welcome the signing of the Agreement on visa-free group tours that aims at boosting cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Iran as well as at creating conditions for boosting tourist exchange," the statement adds. According to the document, "the presidents handed down instructions to consider further joint steps to remove administrative barriers hampering trips of certain categories of citizens."
Russia supports Iran’s plans to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
"The Russia side confirmed its support to Iran’s application for membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and spoke in favor of the swift consideration of this application," the statement says.
According to the statement, the two presidents focused on the importance of strengthening Russian-Iranian cooperation not only within the SCO but also in other multilateral regional formats. Apart from that, with an aim of enhancing peace and stability in Central Asia and South Caucasus, Moscow and Teheran "confirmed their readiness to expand cooperation in these regions in the political, economic and other spheres and stressed their commitment to cooperation in multilateral formats involving other regional nations."
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a permanent regional association founded in Shanghai, China, on June 15, 2001 by six nations, namely Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its priority tasks include joint counteraction to terrorism and extremism; cooperation in education as well as in the energy, oil and gas, transport, communication and other spheres. In 2015, a decision was taken to grant full-fledged membership to India and Pakistan. Iran has been enjoying an observer nation status since 2005.