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Russia to open green corridor to Iran's agriculture

Staff writer |
Russia will simplify customs clearance for Iran's agricultural commodities, the head of the Russian Federal Customs Service said.

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"Iran has promised it will replace all the perishables supplies from Turkey," Andrei Belyaninov was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency, adding that the two sides are expected to sign a "green corridor" deal in May.

The "green corridor" is set to simplify customs procedures, including speeding up a number of formalities during customs inspection and filling clearance documents.

TASS did not specify whether the two sides intended to sign a free trade agreement, or whether the upcoming regime would apply to other goods.

Earlier this year, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations (UN) Security Council lifted sanctions imposed on Iran after Tehran agreed to roll back the scope of its nuclear activities.

This in particular allowed Russia to start deliveries of sophisticated S-300 missile defense systems to Iran, which have been put on hold in 2010 in connection with the sanctions.

Russia has banned imports of a range of Turkish foodstuffs, primarily vegetables and fruits, after relations between the two countries soured following the downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border by the Turkish air force in November 2015.

Meanwhile, Iran and Russia have been discussing signing a free trade agreement.

Alexander Novak, the Russian energy minister and co-chair of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission, said in Tehran last month that Iran could ship foodstuffs worth no less than one billion U.S. dollars a year to Russia.