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Russia, Iran strengthen ties in 'trusting' atmosphere

RussiaandIranare firming up bilateral relationsina ‘trusting’ atmosphere, Russia’s foreign ministry said early on Tuesday after its chief, Sergei Lavrov, was received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a visit to Tehran.

“Ina traditionallytrustingatmosphere, current aspects of the bilateral agenda were substantively discussed with an emphasis on further building up the entire complex of multifaceted Russian-Iranian partnership,” the foreign ministry saidina statement on the Telegram messaging app.

Lavrov, who went to Tehran shortly after an Asia trip to China and North Korea, discussed energy and logistics projects with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

As has been the Russian norm, few details of the talks, which took place amid the rising tensionsinthe Middle East, have been disclosed.

Lavrov also participatedinregional talks hosted byIran, aiming to bring peace to the South Caucasus region after Azerbaijani forces last month recaptured the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and forced thousands of ethnic Armenians to flee.

Since launching its full-scale invasion of UkraineinFebruary 2022, Moscow has sought to firm uptieswith countries traditionally considered Western aligned, accusing “the collective West” of trying to break upRussia.

Ukraine has urged Tehran to stop supplying deadly drones toRussia, which Kyiv says have played a major roleinMoscow’s attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure.

Iraninitially denied supplying the Shahed kamikaze drones toRussiabut later said it had provided a small number before Moscow launched the war.

The United States has said that it has been concerned by the “burgeoning defence partnership” betweenIranandRussia, which poses risks not only to Ukraine but also toIran’s neighbours.

(Published 24 October 2023, 03:17 IST)

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