Russia signals tendency to join INSTEX

TEHRAN, Jul. 18 (MNA) – Russia has signaled its willingness to join an EU payments channel, known as INSTEX, designed to circumvent US sanctions banning trade with Iran, but has called on Brussels to expand the new mechanism to cover oil exports, FT reported on Thursday.

Moscow’s involvement in the channel would mark a significant step forward in attempts by the EU and Russia to rescue a 2015 Iran nuclear deal that has been unravelling since the Trump administration abandoned it last year.

“Russia is interested in close co-ordination with the European Union on INSTEX,” the Russian foreign ministry told the Financial Times. “The more countries and continents involved, the more effective will the mechanism be as a whole.”

The Russian foreign ministry said “the full potential of INSTEX will only be able to be deployed if it will be open to the participation of countries which are not members of the European Union.”

Russia said INSTEX was “a good tool in the implementation of projects . . . that the United States has strongly torpedoed” but called for it to be expanded to include crude oil.

“If the encouraging statements by the EU . . . will be backed up by concrete steps and practical advances, including in relation to the use of INSTEX for servicing trading in Iranian oil, it will help stabilize the difficult situation created around the JCPOA,” it said.

Iran has expressed frustration that the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal have not done more to give it relief from economic sanctions reimposed by the US, particularly restrictions on its ability to export oil.

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, has previously described INSTEX as “not sufficient”.

MNA/PR

News Code 147781

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