Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Kremlin says Putin and Raisi talked for over five hours

A meeting in the Kremlin between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, lasted  more than five hours and was over just before midnight Moscow time, the Russian president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters.

The Iranian president arrived in Moscow on a state visit on Thursday. Moscow and Tehran have developed strong ties in recent years and as a result have strengthened their respective economies, the Russian president told his counterpart.

The two leaders discussed bilateral ties and wider global challenges, including the Israel-Hamas conflict. Russia and Iran have built up “good momentum” over the past year, Putin said, pointing to cooperation in energy and education.

Trade between the two nations has grown by 20% over the past year and has reached $5 billion, the Russian president continued, adding: “We are engaging in active cooperation across the entire spectrum of our bilateral relations.”

The talks concluded a series of meetings that Putin has held in the past 48 hours with leaders and officials from Middle Eastern countries.

During the talks with the Iranian leader, Putin joked that he had considered visiting Tehran on Wednesday after visiting Saudi Arabia and the UAE, saying that he was flying over Iran on his way back home and thought perhaps he could just land in Tehran and meet with Raisi there, but he was informed that the Iranian president was already about to leave for Moscow. Raisi replied that Iran is ready to receive Putin at any time and invited him to visit Iran.

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