Iran’s Raisi says Moscow visit ‘turning point’ in bilateral ties.

Iranian president talks of the need to make improvements in bilateral ties as he is scheduled to hold talks with the Russian president.

Tehran, Iran – Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has said his visit to Moscow could mark a “turning point” in bilateral relations between the two countries ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Before departing for the Russian capital on Wednesday for a two-day trip, the Iranian president described Iran and Russia as strong, independent and influential nations in the region who could boost their security and trade through maintaining close dialogue.

“We have common interests with Russia and our collaboration and common interests could certainly create security and combat unilateralism in the region,” Raisi said in a quip to the United States, which has imposed different levels of sanctions against both countries.

Raisi added that the current level of ties has been satisfactory neither to Iran nor to Russia, so they both wish to use this visit to make improvements.

Political, economic, energy, trade, and space issues will be among topics discussed in Moscow, according to the president.

Their previous 20-year agreement ended last year and while it could be automatically renewed for another five years, both sides agreed it needed improvements.

The two countries have been working to sign a new and improved long-term bilateral cooperation agreement, but it is not expected to be finalised during Raisi’s visit.

Raisi and Putin were initially scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Tajikistan in September, but the Russian president had to go into isolation over a COVID-19 infection among his officials.