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Iran-Russia trade volume to grow further in 2017.

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Iran-Russia trade volume has surged by 70% after the removal of sanctions against the country early last year, Alexander Maksimov, honorary representative of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Iran, told Sputnik. Last year’s bilateral trade was worth $2.2 billion, most of which was comprised of Russian exports of machinery, equipment, transport, food and metals. Iranian food exports to Russia made up just $0.3 billion of the trade balance. “Trade turnover can also be increased without additional state intervention, however, it is very important that Iran reduce customs duties and remove non-tariff barriers, such as the requirements for additional certificates and limits on the supply of Russian wheat, which led to a sharp reduction in the volume of Russian exports in 2016”. Maksimov said that a range of projects are being planned which will further increase bilateral trade in the transport and energy sectors.

Egyptian politician calls for investigation into Russia's accusations against UK over Egypt churches attacks

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Last Wednesday, inside the Security Council, Russia accused Great-Britain to have participate to terrorists attacks of Palm Sunday, which have killed 44 Egyptians and injured more than 100. In front of this allegation, Egypt asks for a transparent international investigation. The Russian official accused Britain of supplying extremist armed groups with weapons and explosives to target Christians and minorities in the Middle East. Russian attacks inside Security Council told, also, that UK supports militant groups also in other European countries as France. Egyptian investigation will clarify this misunderstanding.

Putin says trust erodes under Trump, Moscow icily receives Tillerson.

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Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust had eroded between the United States and Russia under President Donald Trump, as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria. Tillerson started a meeting with Putin in the Kremlin after talking to his Russian opposite number Sergei Lavrov for around three hours. The Kremlin had previously declined to confirm Putin would meet Tillerson, reflecting tensions over the U.S. strike on Syria. Just as Tillerson sat down for talks with Lavrov earlier on Wednesday, a senior Russian official assailed the “primitiveness and loutishness” of U.S. rhetoric, part of a volley of statements that appeared timed to maximize the awkwardness during the first visit by a member of Trump’s cabinet.

At U.N., U.S. tells Russia it's isolating itself by backing Assad.

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The United States told Russia at the United Nations on Wednesday that is it isolating itself by continuing to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain said its scientists found sarin was used in a deadly toxic gas attack on Syrian civilians last week. Russia is set to block a push by Western powers at the United Nations later on Wednesday to bolster support for international inquiries into the April 4 toxic gas attack in Syria. It will be Moscow’s eighth veto in support of the Assad government since the Syrian war began six years ago. “To my colleagues from Russia – you are isolating yourselves from the international community every time one of Assad’s planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death”, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told the U.N. Security Council.

Tillerson heads to Moscow carrying Western call for Russia to abandon Assad

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson carried a message from world powers to Moscow on Tuesday denouncing Russian support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, as the Trump administration took on America’s traditional mantle as leader of a unified West. Tillerson flew on the administration’s first cabinet mission to Russia after meeting foreign ministers from the Group of Seven advanced economies and Middle Eastern allies in Italy. They endorsed a joint call for Russia to abandon Assad. The administration of President Donald Trump, which came to power in January calling for warmer ties with Russia, was thrust into confrontation with Moscow last week when a poison gas attack in northern Syria killed 87 people.

G-7 Ministers appeal to Russia on Syria but reject sanctions

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The Group of Seven industrialized nations on Tuesday urged Russia to pressure the Syrian government to end the six-year civil war, but rejected a British call to impose new sanctions on Moscow over its support of President Bashar Assad. “Russia can be a part of that future and play an important role”, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.Or, he added, it could maintain its alliance with Syria, Iran and militant group Hezbollah, “which we believe is not going to serve Russia’s interests’ longer term”. He flew straight from the summit in Italy to Moscow, carrying the G-7’s strong desire for a new start in Syria, but few concrete proposals to make it happen. Finally, the G-7 members broadly agree that Assad should go – but not necessarily when, or how. European leaders are especially conscious of the disaster in Libya, where an internationally backed ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi was followed by a descent into chaos and factional fighting and about the last week’s chemical attack, the group decided not to approve new sanctions but to ask an investigation to the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons

Tillerson faces tough talks in Moscow amid increased tensions.

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week will be an early test of whether the Trump administration can use any momentum generated by a missile attack on a Syrian air base to craft and execute a strategy to end the Syrian war. Even before Trump ordered last week’s strike in retaliation for a nerve gas attack, Tillerson’s visit was certain to be dominated by thorny issues, including Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, an apparent violation of an important arms control treaty, and seeing what cooperation, if any, is possible in the fight against Islamic State. Now, Tillerson, a former oil executive with no diplomatic experience, is charged with avoiding a major U.S. confrontation with Russia while exacting some concessions from Moscow. Those include getting rid of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s remaining chemical weapons and pressing Assad to negotiate Syria’s future.

Escalating the U.S. role in Syria and drawing criticism from Assad's allies including Russia and Iran.

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al-Assad on Sunday said the U.S. strike on a Syrian air base on Friday crossed “red lines” and it would respond to any new aggression and increase its support for its ally. The United States fired dozens of cruise missiles at a Syrian air base on Friday from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack had been launched earlier in the week, escalating the U.S. role in Syria and drawing criticism from Assad’s allies including Russia and Iran.

Russia warns of serious consequences from U.S. strike in Syria

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Russia warned on Friday that U.S. cruise missile strikes on a Syrian air base could have “extremely serious” consequences, as President Donald Trump’s first major foray into a foreign conflict opened up a rift between Moscow and Washington. The warships USS Porter and USS Ross in the Mediterranean Sea launched dozens of Tomahawk missiles that hit the airstrip, aircraft and fuel stations of Shayrat air base, which the Pentagon says was involved in a chemical weapons attack this week. It was Trump’s biggest foreign policy decision since taking office in January and the kind of direct intervention in Syria’s six-year-old civil war his predecessor Barack Obama avoided. The strikes were in reaction to what Washington says was a poison gas attack by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory.

Turkish mills buy EU, Black Sea wheat to replace Russian imports.

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Turkish flour mills have covered their short-term needs by purchasing several hundred thousand tons of wheat from EU and Black Sea countries, replacing Russian supplies blocked by a change to import rules, millers and traders said on April 5. Turkey has effectively halted purchases from Russia of wheat, maize (corn) and sunflower seeds by removing Russian items from a duty-free import scheme from March 15. The Turkish move meant Russian supplies facing a prohibitive 130 percent duty, though Ankara has denied banning imports from Russia. Moscow has said the tariffs are hindering relations.

 

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