There has been a significant alignment in the positions of Moscow and Tehran on the majority of regional issues, as Russian President Vladimir Putin engaged on Thursday in discussions with his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi.
While both parties affirmed satisfaction with the trajectory of bilateral relations and the expansion of cooperation in various domains, it became evident that issues pertaining to coordinating efforts to confront Western sanctions imposed on both countries, addressing hot-button regional issues—particularly the situation around Gaza—were at the forefront of the discussions.
The leaders, meeting at the Kremlin, underscored the importance of navigating these challenges collaboratively and fostering a strategic alignment in response to shared concerns.
As Putin opened the talks, he told his Iranian counterpart that he was ready for a stopover in Iran on Wednesday, thus extending his Middle East tour and holding a meeting ahead of time.
“Dear Mr. President, I am very glad to see you in Moscow. Yesterday, you know, I was there in the neighboring region. I was flying directly over the territory of your country to my colleagues and at a certain point I had an idea of landing in Tehran for a meeting right away. But I was told: ‘The president is almost on the way to Moscow,” Putin said with a laugh.
Commentators observed that Putin’s gesture was deliberate, seen as a confirmation of Russia’s commitment to deepening communication with all countries in the region.
“Our relations are developing very well. Please convey my best wishes to leader (Ali) Khamenei,” Putin told Raisi, referring to Iran's Supreme Leader.
“Thanks to his support, we have gained good momentum over the past year,” Putin added, noting that the volume of trade between Russia and Iran increased by 20%, yielding positive results.
The Russian leader also said that his country is engaged in extensive collaboration with Iran across various sectors, notably in the energy domain.
“We have large infrastructure projects, we have been discussing for a long time, and now we have come to the practical implementation of the construction of the North–South railway,” said Putin.
“We work naturally, traditionally, in the field of energy. In the field of education, we have a significant number of Iranian students studying here. In general, work is quite active in almost all areas,” he added.
Putin emphasized that the two countries are actively working to synchronize their efforts on issues of mutual concern, proposing a discussion on the situation in Palestine.
He also underscored the particular significance of signing the partnership agreement between Tehran and the Eurasian Economic Union, anticipating the event to take place by the end of 2023.