Russia’s Energy Minister Urges Closer Ties with Iran

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak expressed his country’s determination to promote cooperation with Iran.

Addressing a ceremony in Iran’s central city of Isfahan on Monday night, Novak described Russia and Iran as good neighbors and partners, saying the two nations are resolved to continue and enhance mutual cooperation.

The Russian energy minister was speaking at a banquet in honor of the dignitaries attending the 15th joint economic cooperation meeting of Iran and Russia in Isfahan.

Novak also expressed confidence that the event in the historical city could help develop the economic and cultural cooperation between Tehran and Moscow.

Heading a 120-strong delegation, Novak has visited Iran for a new round of joint economic commission meetings.

Earlier on Monday, the visiting Russian minster and Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh met in Tehran to discuss global cooperation in the energy sector.

The Iranian oil minister said at the meeting that he disagrees with a plan to postpone an upcoming meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), adding that Iran would prefer July 10-12 if a new date was to be set for the gathering.

OPEC was scheduled to meet on June 25, but Russia, a producer outside OPEC, suggested moving the meeting to July 3-4.

In letters to OPEC, Algeria and Kazakhstan have disagreed with moving the dates. Sources say Venezuela and Libya additionally opposed a schedule change.

“It is becoming really embarrassing,” Reuters quoted an OPEC source as saying.

OPEC and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, agreed in December 2018 to reduce supply by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1. OPEC’s share of the cut is 800,000 bpd, to be delivered by 11 members -all except Iran, Libya and Venezuela.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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