Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Iran on Tuesday for its first international trip outside the former Soviet Union since launch his invasion of Ukrainewhich effectively severed ties with the West.
Putin met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On Tuesday, he also met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
“I am very pleased to be on the hospitable Iranian soil … We can boast of record figures for the growth of trade,” Putin said at a bilateral meeting with Raisi. “We are strengthening our cooperation on international security issues, making a significant contribution to the settlement of the Syrian conflict.”
Raisi also hailed Iran and Russia’s “significant” commitment to security cooperation, saying the two countries have “good experience” in fighting terrorism.
Energy deal: Also on Tuesday, Iran’s national oil company signed a $40 billion deal with Russia’s state gas company Gazprom, according to a statement from Shana, Iran’s oil ministry news agency. The deal includes the development of Iranian gas fields and the construction of new gas export pipelines.
Meanwhile, Khamenei called mutual cooperation between Russia and Iran “very useful.”
“World events show the need for Iran and Russia to expand mutual cooperation,” the statement said.
Referring to Putin’s war in Ukraine, Khamenei also said it was necessary to “stop” NATO’s expansion of the Western Security Alliance.
“NATO is a dangerous organization. The West is categorically against a strong, independent Russia. If the way is opened for NATO, it will not recognize any restrictions,” Khamenei said. “If she hadn’t been stopped in Ukraine, she would have unleashed a similar war in Crimea later.”
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