Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday discussed bilateral relations as well as the latest regional developments over the phone.
The Iranian president said bilateral exchanges showed a “favorable” momentum, highlighting the necessity of accelerating the implementation of the joint agreements and projects, including those in the fields of transportation and energy exchanges, according to a statement published on the website of the Iranian president’s office.
Raisi expressed his gratitude to Russia for supporting Iran’s BRICS membership, noting that the group is effective in creating a multilateral world and offers Iran, Russia, and the other members of the group favorable opportunities to expand their bilateral, regional, and international interactions.
BRICS is an acronym for five major emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. In August, Iran, along with Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, was invited to join the group.
The Russian president, for his part, said the volume of bilateral trade set a record last year, describing Iran as Russia’s strategic partner.
He expressed hope that the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia would be linked with each other in the near future through the completion of a 162-km railway in northern Iran with Russian investment, adding the connection of the three countries’ railways will significantly increase trade transactions among them.
The two presidents also reviewed the latest regional developments, stressing the need to resolve the issues of the South Caucasus region through dialogue and talks in the 3+3 format, comprising three Caucasian states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and their three neighbors of Russia, Türkiye, and Iran.
They also stressed that other countries should refrain from interfering with the region’s affairs.
Iran and Russia, both under sanctions imposed by the United States, have recently expanded bilateral political and economic relations to counter the U.S. moves.