Tehran, Nov 1 (IANS): Iran and Russia have signed contracts worth around $6.5 billion for cooperation in the gas sector, a Minister announced here.
The newly signed deals are parts of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) valued at $40 billion signed between the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Russia's Gazprom in July, that have recently turned into contracts, Xinhua news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari as saying on Monday.
Safari expressed hope that the remaining parts of the MoU would also turn into contracts within one month, adding that negotiations in this regard are underway.
He noted that the gas swap deal between Iran and Russia is also being finalized, saying the only issue left undecided is choosing an intermediary country for sending the Russian gas to Iran.
The Minister said Iran's plan is to import Russia's gas while exporting Iranian gas to foreign markets, noting that it benefits his country by reducing the costs of transferring Iranian gas from the southern regions to the north.
The joint project will also help increase political solidarity among Iran, Russia and intermediary countries, such as Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, and thus, will contribute to the region's political stability, security and peace, Safari added.
He noted that in the coming days, the two countries would also agree on the details of a contract for swapping oil and petroleum products, which was discussed in October during a visit by Oil Minister Javad Owji to Russia.
Safari said the two countries' focus in their oil swap negotiations is on an annual target of 10 million tonnes.