Putin speaks to Iranian president with emphasis on deepening ties, Kremlin says

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates Interior Ministry employees and veterans on their professional holiday, in Moscow, Russia, in this image released on November 10, 2022. Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via REUTERS

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, with both leaders placing emphasis on deepening political, trade and economic cooperation, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.

It did not say when the phone call took place and made no mention of Iranian arms supplies to Moscow. Russia has stepped up its efforts to build ties with Iran and other non-Western countries since it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

"A number of topical issues on the bilateral agenda were discussed, with the emphasis on further enhancing cooperation in the political, trade and economic fields, including the transport and logistics sector," the Kremlin said.

A senior Russian security official met Iranian leaders in Tehran on Wednesday and the two countries pledged closer ties.

The visit took place following accusations by Ukraine and the West that Russia has used Iranian drones to target Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Iran says it sent Russia a small number of drones before the war began. Last month, two senior Iranian officials and two Iranian diplomats told Reuters that Iran had promised to provide Russia with surface-to-surface missiles.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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