A Moscow-based subsidiary of Iran’s state-run Bank Melli is facilitating money transfer between Iran and Russia, which are both slapped with US sanctions, Iran’s ambassador to Russia says.
“Following measures undertaken by Bank Melli of the Islamic Republic of Iran, transfer of money between Iran and Russia through Mir Business Bank in Moscow and the foreign exchange section of Bank Melli in Tehran is possible at any level,” Mehdi Sanaei said in a meeting with a group of Iranian manufacturers based in the Russian capital.
He said the previous obstacles like high tariffs on exports, money transfer restrictions and visa problems have been largely overcome.
Sanaei said the only way for Iran to benefit from low tariffs would be to deliver products to Russia through Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
He also said that Iran and Russia plan to sign a consular memorandum later this year to ease visa requirements for Iranian and Russian businessmen and tourists.
Last month, Sanaei said Iran expects to sign an initial agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015 in order to reduce high tariffs levied on the exports of Iranian goods to Russia.
Iran and Russia are planning to create a joint account to settle their mutual payments in their own legal tenders.
The US and the European Union (EU) have imposed an array of embargoes on Russian individuals and businesses over the crisis in Ukraine. They accuse Moscow of supporting anti-Kiev protesters in eastern and southern Ukraine. Russia denies the allegation.
The US and its European allies have also imposed sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s civilian nuclear activities.
Last September, Iran and Russia agreed to use their national currencies in bilateral trade.