24 Jan 2023 13:33

Russia agrees on Iran's repayment of debts for agricultural products - MP Slutsky

MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) - An agreement on Iran's repayment of debts for Russian agricultural products supplied earlier has been reached during a State Duma delegation's visit to Iran, Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky said.

"Much headway has been made. This implies the repayment of huge debts for our agricultural products, which have been growing on the side of Iran for months," Slutsky told reporters on Tuesday, as he commented on results of the visit.

The delegation led by State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin visited Iran on January 22-23. Slutsky was a member of the parliamentary delegation.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told reporters in November 2022, following a meeting of the Russian-Iranian Intergovernmental Commission, that Russia and Iran were broadening trade in agricultural products and food, but there were payment problems. "Our trade has substantially broadened. We keep lifting every existent barrier. There is only one question left, this is the question of timely payment," Novak said.

According to him, up to 40% of Russian exports to Iran are agricultural products.

As reported earlier, Russia exports wheat, corn, barley and other grains to Iran, which was one of the top three buyers of Russian wheat in the previous agricultural year (July 2021 - June 2022). According to the Rusagrotrans analytical center, Russian wheat exports to Iran reached 6.15 million tonnes, while the share of Russian wheat in Iranian imports reached 77%. In this agricultural year, the procurements are estimated at 4.5 million to 5 million tonnes due to the larger domestic wheat harvest.

In turn, Iran supplies Russia with fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy products. According to the Argus-Fito federal state information system of Rosselkhoznadzor, it became a key supplier of cabbage (73,000 tonnes), kiwi (55,000 tonnes), pepper (37,000 tonnes), watermelons (36,000 tonnes), iceberg lettuce (19,000 tonnes), oranges (17,000 tonnes), eggplants (16,000 tonnes), apples (13,000 tonnes) and other products to Russia over eight months of 2022. In all, the Iranian exports of fruit and vegetables to Russia stood at 416,000 tonnes in that period.