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.
About 40 Iraqi citizens have been killed and over 100 injured as a result of a twin blast in the Syrian capital’s Bab Mousalla district, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a statement obtained by Sputnik on Saturday. “The initial data indicates the death of about 40 Iraqis and 120 injuries after their buses were blown up,” the ministry said, adding that it was following the situation through the country’s embassy in Damascus.In cooperation with the Syrian authorities, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry has “created a crisis cell for counting all the victims” as well as to “ensure the speedy transportation of the victims’ bodies”.