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Russia Sets ‘Mechanisms’ to Confront US Sanctions on Iran

Russia Sets ‘Mechanisms’ to Confront US Sanctions on Iran

Tuesday, 6 November, 2018 - 10:00
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 28, 2017. (Reuters)
Moscow - Raed Jaber
Russia has taken steps to counter the repercussions of US sanctions on Iran and reiterated its unwillingness to comply with Washington’s measures, which it described as "illegitimate."

The US restored sanctions lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal and added 300 new designations in Iran’s oil, shipping, insurance and banking sectors.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Washington will suffer as well, with the Russian oil sector expected to make gains due to restrictions on Iranian exports.

Speaking at conference during his visit to China, Medvedev said that the United States introduced sanctions against other countries to suppress global competition, adding that Washington imposes all kinds of “restrictions, duties on China, the European Union and our country, Russia. Ultimately, I am sure that the US economy will also suffer from it.”

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that by unveiling new sanctions against Iran, the US is dealing another powerful blow to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).

"A new round of anti-Iran sanctions announced by Washington is aimed at undermining the consistent efforts by the parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to preserve that deal," the ministry said in a statement on its website.

It added that Washington’s policy aimed at “scrapping international legal nuclear nonproliferation and arms control tools. This triggers profound disappointment and growing concern.”

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reiterated that Russia is constantly protecting the interests of its companies, including in the situation around the US sanctions on Iran.

Peskov did not disclose the nature of the measures, but asserted that “steps to protect the interests of Russian companies not only in this country [Iran], but everywhere else are taken constantly, on a permanent basis.”

Russian sources pointed out that among the measures set by Moscow to bypass US sanctions, is to facilitate the transfer part of Iranian oil to Russian ports, for re-export via Russia.

Media circles revealed a few days ago details of a Russian-Iranian agreement which was approved during a summit between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani in Istanbul recently. The agreement explains the mechanisms for the transfer of crude oil from Iran to Russian refineries across the Caspian Sea, to be re-exported later as part of Russian oil orders.

Media leaks confirmed some of this data, pointing out that the Russian-Iranian agreements included establishing a coalition with Russian oil companies to develop four oil fields. The source did not rule out the possibility of transferring production of these fields to Russian ports for re-export later.

According to media outlets, European countries seeking to maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran are ready to support the proposed mechanism.

Russian experts felt that the new US sanctions package will be very beneficial to the Russian economy, especially in terms of “strengthening Russia 's positions in the international oil markets”, according to the professor of Department of International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign, Vladimir Ovatkov.

He explained that the expansion of energy supply is profitable for Russia, even if the resources provided were from a third country.

A geopolitical reality has arisen, linked to the fact that Russia has a great interest in strengthening security, including economic security, in the Russia-Turkey-Iran triangle, the professor went on to say.

However, Russian sources pointed that Moscow has other measures within the framework of a comprehensive policy to address the new situation.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak revealed details of Moscow's measures to counter the wave of sanctions on Iran's oil sector and said Moscow should continue its work to promote "mechanisms to ensure continued cooperation between Moscow and Tehran."

Novak further added that Russia seeks to “continue developing” its trading of Iranian oil under an oil-for-goods scheme.

“We already live in the conditions of sanctions. We do not recognize the sanctions introduced unilaterally without the United Nations, we consider those methods illegal per se," the minister said.

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