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TEHRAN/MOSCOW, November 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will on Monday make a short working visit to Tehran to attend the third summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the Kremlin reported.
This will be the second visit by the Russian leader to Iran. Putin last was to the Islamic Republic in 2007 at the Caspian summit.
Presidential aide Yury Ushakov said the Russian leader will speak at a plenary session of the summit and hold a number of bilateral meetings. The agenda of the event also includes a gala reception in honor of delegation heads on behalf of the Iranian president.
Ushakov did not disclose the contents of the future speech by the Russian president, but underscored that Moscow "fully supports" the point formulated as a topic for the Tehran summit: "Natural gas is the best fuel for sustainable growth."
He said the meeting’s participants plan to discuss prospects of development of the global gas market and of promoting consumption of gas as the most affordable, efficient and environmentally friendly type of energy resources.
"The sides will exchange opinions on urgent issues on the way of gas industry development. Special attention will be paid to possible coordinated steps to promote the interests of producer countries. The talk will in particular be about keeping the practice of long-term contracts for gas supplies and on equitable distribution of risks between suppliers and consumers of fuel," the presidential aide said.
A joint Declaration is expected to be adopted following the summit. It will reflect the principled positions of the GECF member states on priority issues of cooperation in the gas sphere. The Declaration will also state that all Forum participants are reliable gas exporters, the Kremlin spokesman said.
He said Russia pays priority attention to the gas sphere development. In line with a preliminary draft of a national energy strategy until 2035, annual production of natural gas may be raised 40% to 885 billion cubic meters.
Ushakov earlier told journalists that Putin will hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the sidelines of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Tehran on November 23.
"A meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled, this will be the third meeting this year. Also, a conversation will be held with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ali Khamenei," Ushakov said.
"The parties will discuss all topical issues of bilateral cooperation - trade and investment cooperation, nuclear energy, oil and gas production, military and technical cooperation," the presidential aide said.
According to him, considerable attention will be paid to urgent international issues: the settlement of the Syrian conflict, the implementation of the joint comprehensive action plan on the Iranian nuclear program, the fight against terrorism, in particular, confronting the Islamic State terrorist group, which is banned in Russia.
Ushakov did not rule out that the Russian president could meet with Bolivian President Evo Morales, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other leaders on the sidelines of the gas summit.
"There are requests about the meetings, in particular, from the Bolivian president and the Venezuelan president. We will look at the agenda of the event and will try to find time for these and, possibly, other contacts, including brief meetings on the go," the Kremlin spokesman said.
The Tehran Gas Exporting Countries Forum will be held from November 21 to November 23. On November 21, a meeting of the energy ministers of the gas exporting countries is to take place.
The participants of the summit are expected to discuss the prospects for the development of the global gas market and efforts to encourage gas consumption. They will also exchange views on the pressing issues relating to the development of the gas industry. Particular attention will be paid to concerted efforts to promote the interests of gas producers.