Thursday, September 15, 2005

Putin: Russia, Iran Have Many Regional Interests

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia and Iran have a lot of mutual interests, including in the Caspian Sea region. In his meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday, Putin said, “Russia and Iran have ancient and rather close relations.” He pointed to close cooperation in different fields.

“It’s rather to say last year trade turnover between our countries increased by 43 percent,” the Russian president said.

He noted that Moscow and Tehran “have a lot of regional interests, including in the Caspian Sea region.”

Putin said, “I hope that this positive dynamics will be continued after the election as Iran’s president.”

“Moreover, being Tehran mayor you established very good relations with our major cities – St. Petersburg and Moscow, the capital of Russia,” Putin said, adding that the Iranian president “has positive experience of cooperation with Russia.”

Ahmadinejad said Russia is Iran’s best friend. “Powerful Russia is our best friend. We’re glad that in the recent years you have succeeded in solving many problems in Russia and strengthening your country’s prestige.”

Powerful Russia is Iran’s best friend and powerful Iran is one of the best friends of Russia,” he added. READ MORE

“We seek to strengthen Russia’s role in the world,” Ahmadinejad stressed.

He said Iran is ready to develop cooperation with Russia in the future. “Our government is seeking to develop relations with Russia on a long-term basis.” He agreed that Iran and Russia had a lot of close interests, including in the Caspian Sea region.

“I want to thank you for sending a greetings message to me on the election as Iran’s president. It was very friendly and sincere and proved of our deep and multilateral relations,” the Iranian president stressed.

“Our interests at the bilateral level and on the international arena are very close,” Ahmadinejad said. The Iranian president recognised that he had pleasant memories about his visit to Moscow and his meeting with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov before he was elected president.