Iran will start exporting oil to Russia this week under an oil-for-goods barter agreement, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh was quoted as saying when he returned from the Opec meeting in Vienna.

The deal, which the two countries began negotiating over a year ago, would allow Iran to increase its oil sales at a time when sanctions have cut its exports in half.

“Russia will begin oil imports from Iran this week,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported Zangeneh as saying on the evening of 6 June.

“We agreed with [Russia’s Energy Minister] Alexander Novak in Vienna that Russia will buy less than 500,000 barrels a day (b/d) from Iran in exchange for cash, and Iran will use this cash to buy Russian goods such as steel, wheat and oil products from Russia,” he added.

Iran and six world powers, including Russia, are attempting to reach a deal by the end of June on Tehran’s nuclear programme, which could see sanctions against the Iranian oil sector lifted.

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