News ID: 131281
Published: 0725 GMT November 20, 2015

Iran, Russia plan joint bank

Iran, Russia plan joint bank

Russia and Iran have reached a consensus on establishing a joint bank, which had been under discussion for some time.

Mehdi Mohtashami, the deputy co-chair of Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission said Iran has accepted the Russian proposal to establish a bank for investing in joint economic projects.

The bank will initially focus on investment in bilateral trade and other joint economic projects.

"The initial capital will, probably, total $500 million. The capital could be increased with the growth in cooperation in trade and joint projects," Mohtashami told RIA Novosti.

Iran's Ambassador to Russian Mehdi Sanaei said in January that Tehran and Moscow are working on a plan to use national currencies in bilateral trade for which he said the two countries will create a joint bank or a mutual account.

Russian Trade Representative in Iran Andrei Lugansky recently noted that the proposed Russian-Iranian bank would be very useful.

However, Kamran Dadkhah, an economics  professor at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts told AzerNews that the usefulness of the Russian-Iranian bank will depend upon its charter and organization.

"If it operates on the basis of international banking rules using international currencies (the dollar and euro), it would be acceptable. But if it is under the influence of Russian authorities, then Iran should avoid it," the expert warned.

In March, Iran and Russia signed a preliminary deal to create a joint regulation body to oversee interbank financial transactions between the two countries.

The agreement that was signed between the Iranian and Russian central banks was regarded as a one step closer ahead toward the establishment of the promised joint bank — which is believed to have been specifically designed to help evade the impacts of US-led sanctions on the two countries.

Russia was the 18th major importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the year to March 21, 2015 with imports and exports totaling $296.509 million and $667.18 million of non-oil goods to and from Iran, respectively, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

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