Russia tries to get economic jump on West

By F. Michael Maloof

IranWomen

WASHINGTON – Russia and Iran are moving past their historically rocky relationship with a new signal from Moscow that Tehran would be welcome in its Eurasian Economic Union, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Iran’s response is that a good first step would be “preferential tariff” agreements.

The EEU widely has been perceived as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s cloaked effort to re-establish the former Soviet Union and compete head on with the troubled European Union.

Now it appears to be a potential tool in Russia’s effort to get an economic jump on the West in any future business deals with Iran.

Economic trade has been openly discussed as a possibility depending on a final agreement between Tehran and the West over its nuclear program.

But now Russia apparently is trying to move to the head of the line.

Read the full report at Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The overture to Tehran is from EEU Chairman Viktor Khristenko, who during a recent meeting with Iranian ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanayee called for Iran’s membership in the group.

“We are willing to see Iran’s membership and its active and effective cooperation with the union,” Khristenko said, Fars News reported.

The EEU is composed of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Kyrgyzstan recently signed an agreement to join the union as of May after approval of its parliament.

As a customs-free undertaking, the EEU is seen as a potential competition with the European Union, which is having economic difficulties and may see some troubled members, such as Greece and Spain, opt out.

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Moscow apparently is concerned a nuclear agreement could lead to normalization of relations between the U.S. and Iran.

In recent days, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has indicated that if the deal with the West is finalized, it could open new opportunities for agreement on other longstanding issues.

“If the other side avoids its ambiguity in the nuclear talks, it’ll be an experience showing it’s possible to negotiate with them on other issues,” Khamenei said.

Observers have interpreted the comment to mean Khamenei has decided not to side with hardliners in Iran who want to abandon the agreement.

And WND recently reported, Moscow wants to deflect the budding relationship by offering new incentives to Tehran, such as renewal of the S-300 air defense system which it canceled initially because of sanctions.

Read the full report at Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

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