Nov. 12 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi spoke by phone Saturday and discussed ways to intensify their political and economic cooperation, the Kremlin said.
“They touched upon some pressing bilateral issues with a focus on how to build up cooperation in the political, trade and economic areas, including in the field of transport and logistics,” Moscow said in a statement. “They agreed that the corresponding Russian and Iranian institutions will increase contact.”
According to the Mehr News Agency, Putin emphasized Iran’s special geographic location and its effectiveness for reducing the time and costs of transporting goods.
“This transit route will become an attractive route for economy and trade in the world,” Putin said.
Earlier this month Iran admitted for the first time that it had been supplying Russia with drones.
Against mounting evidence of Iranian drones being found and shot down on the Ukrainian battlefield, Tehran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said his country provided Russia drones ahead of its invasion.
The drones, which are harder to shoot down by air defense systems because of their small size, have been effective in inflicting significant damage to power stations and other critical civilian infrastructure in Ukraine ahead of the cold winter season.
“Some western countries have accused Iran of helping the war in Ukraine by providing drones and missiles to Russia,” Amir-Abdollahian said in Tehran. “The part regarding missiles is completely wrong. The part about drones is correct, we did provide a limited number of drones to Russia in the months before the start of the war in Ukraine.”