(Repeats to adjust signoff)
MOSCOW Jan 16 A potential multi billion dollar
oil-for-goods swap was not on the agenda of meetings with
Russian officials, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
said on Thursday during a trip to Moscow.
Sources told Reuters last week that Iran and Russia are
negotiating a swap deal, worth $1.5 billion a month, that would
enable Iran to lift oil exports substantially.
Russia is one of the countries involved in the nuclear talks
that agreed to a preliminary deal to curb Iran's nuclear
programme but unlike the United States and the European Union,
has not imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran.
Moscow has often used its ties with Iran, where it is in
talks over building another nuclear power plant, as part of its
diplomacy with the West.
Zarif, who visited Moscow on Thursday to meet his Russian
counterpart Sergei Lavrov and President Vladimir Putin, avoided
to comment on the possible deal, telling Rossiya 24 broadcaster
that it was not on his trip's agenda.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday
Iran and Russia are looking at increasing trade volumes between
two countries but declined to comment on a possible
"Speaking about trade and economic cooperation with peaceful
intentions - like shipments of food, equipment, raw materials
etc - we don't have any restrictions here and, of course, we are
looking at ways to widening trade volumes," Novak told the same
Russian and Iranian sources close to the barter negotiations
said final details were in discussion for a deal under which
Russia would buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in
exchange for Russian equipment and goods.
It would lift Iran's oil exports by 50 percent and provide a
major boost to its struggling economy. Russia may also gain from
the possible deal as it earlier agreed to significantly increase
oil shipments to China in coming years.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Vladimir Soldatkin,
writing by Katya Golubkova, editing by Thomas Grove and William