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Russia To Open $5 Billion Credit Line For Iran To Finance Projects

Russia plans to open a $5 billion credit line for Iran to help finance joint infrastructure projects in the country, officials said October 22 .

"We hope we can open a $5 billion credit line," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Iranian Telecommunications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi during a visit to Tehran, Iran's ISNA news agency reported.

Iranian Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi said after meeting Novak that "the Russians are going to allocate a credit line for infrastructure projects in Iran."

"The first project would be electrifying the Garmsar-Incheh Borun train line," connecting north central Iran to the northeastern border with Turkmenistan, at a cost of $1.2 billion, Akhoundi told state television.

Novak was accompanied by representatives from 50 Russian companies "ready to invest in Iran," he said.

Bilateral trade stands at "more than $1 billion," Novak said, which is "not enough" and should rise to the $10 billion range. He asserted that Iran is Russia's "most important economic and trade partner."

The two countries discussed expanding trade in oil, gas, electricity, transport, and telecommunications as well as defense cooperation.

Based on reporting by AFP and TASS