Iran, Russia step up telephone diplomacy amid pandemic: envoy

TEHRAN, May 19 (MNA) – The coronavirus spread has not brought about any noticeable changes in bilateral cooperation in the sphere of civil nuclear power engineering, the Russian ambassador to Tehran said.

The Russian and Iranian sides stopped personal contacts at the highest level amid the coronavirus spread but stepped up telephone diplomacy, Russia’s Ambassador to Tehran Levan Dzhagaryan told TASS on Tuesday.

"Personal contacts stopped and telephone diplomacy intensified," he said in an interview timed for the centenary of the Russian-Iranian relations.

As the Russian diplomat pointed out, "this is very important but this option cannot replace the effectiveness of personal meetings." "Despite all the difficulties, we are seeking to make the most of the remaining possibilities," he added.

Despite the coronavirus, trade between Russia and Iran continues, the Russian diplomat said. "A transport link via the Caspian Sea exists and freight auto transport remains. Fruits and vegetables are imported from Iran into Russia and we are issuing multiple visas to Iranian drivers," he said.

The main change in bilateral trade and economic cooperation caused by the pandemic has been the impossibility of visits by Russian and Iranian delegations, the envoy said. "Thus, a meeting of the inter-governmental commission was planned in Vladikavkaz in June. Considering the current situation, it will hardly be held."

The coronavirus spread has not brought about any noticeable changes in bilateral cooperation in the sphere of civil nuclear power engineering, the Russian diplomat said.

"The Bushehr nuclear power plant is the flagship of our cooperation in the nuclear sphere. In this area, our cooperation continues. Thus, special flights from Novosibirsk on April 21 and 28 delivered fuel for the nuclear power plant," he said.

"The work of specialists on the site [the Bushehr nuclear power plant] continues," Dzhagaryan stated. "The personnel is taking all necessary precaution measures and are complying with social distancing requirements," he added.

ZZ/TASS

News Code 158888

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