TEHRAN, December 23. /TASS/. The Russian Agency for Export Credit and Investment Insurance (EXIAR) and its Iranian partners agreed on mutual guarantees for transactions in national currencies, its Chief Executive Officer Alexey Tyupanov told TASS on Wednesday.
EXIAR is a subsidiary of Russia’s VEB development bank, which provides insurance cover of export and investment transactions from commercial and political risks. In Iran the agency cooperates with Export Guarantee Fund.
"We’ve agreed to share risks. If we have projects in Iran they may guarantee them to us and vice versa. We’ll battle the scheme out, starting from small sums of 10-20 million dollars," Tyupanov said.
Russia and Iran plan to boost mutual trade turnover from the current $1.7 bln to $10 bln while one of the most serious obstacles for doing this is the impossibility of payments in dollars or euro with Iranian banks due to sanctions.
According to Tyupanov, increasing the volume of transactions in national currencies without participation of the third countries’ banks is one of the ways to circumvent restrictions of payments with Iran.
"We’ll try to cut deals in national currencies. Our main task is to ensure that if Iranian export flows to Russia it will not flow via grey schemes in various countries but in ruble-rial pair via correspondent accounts in Russian banks," CEO said, adding that the scheme of payments in national currencies will become sustainable only in case the volume of Russian imports from Iran are comparable with export volumes.
"It’s not only important how much goods we sell to Iran but also how much Iran sells to us as for transactions in national currencies it’s necessary for them to hold rubles," he added.
On Tuesday, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov had negotiations with officials from Iran’s Central Bank on establishing correspondent relations between the two countries’ commercial banks. "We spoke about how to form a mechanism at the level of the central banks to establish correspondent relations between commercial banks of the two countries," the Minister said, adding that a number of Russian commercial banks were considering possibilities of cooperation with Iranian commercial banks.