Russia prepares economic outreach to Iran and China - analysis

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to escape Western sanctions via working with Iran.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia August 31, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian during a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia August 31, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV)

Russia is preparing to work more closely with Iran on economic projects. According to Iranian media and a Russian official quoted in that media, “Iran’s industrial products will have a significant place in Russia; a Russian official stated that industrial goods made in Iran can have an acceptable position in the Russian market.”

A Russian official was attending an exhibition in Iran this week and made the comments about the new trade position of Iran in Russia. Meanwhile Russia is also doing outreach to the global south and trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to its advantage. Russia claims that western sanctions are hurting the global south. Russia has also claimed Ukraine is “cheating” on the grain deal that was recently signed with Ukraine and Turkey.

Meanwhile Al-Jazeera noted that “Russia’s energy giant Gazprom says it has signed an agreement with China to start payments for gas supplies to China in yuan and rubles instead of US dollars, in a sign of warming relations between Beijing and Moscow, which is under Western sanctions.” Russia wants to shift food trade networks to its advantage and use the war to make it seem the West is at fault for global food trade problems.

Russian-backed Iran seeks more control in Central Asia

Russia will seek to import more Iranian products. This could be linked to Russia’s role in the Iran deal talks as well. Russia wants to escape Westerns sanctions via working with Iran. According to Iranian pro-government media “trade between Russia and Iran has increased by more than 10% in the first quarter.”

China’s leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will also meet in coming days at an event in Uzbekistan. According to CNN, the expected meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit would be the first face-to-face between the two leaders, who have established a close relationship, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.”

 IRANIAN PRESIDENT Ebrahim Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Tehran last month. Raisi plans to visit New York next month to address the UN General Assembly, despite US sanctions.  (credit: President Website/WANA/Reuters) IRANIAN PRESIDENT Ebrahim Raisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Tehran last month. Raisi plans to visit New York next month to address the UN General Assembly, despite US sanctions. (credit: President Website/WANA/Reuters)

It is clear that these events are connected. Iran wants to play a greater role in Central Asia and that means that the SCO summit will be good for Iran, China and Russia. They all want to work together to reduce the US role in the world. Their goal is to create a multi-polar world and to erode US hegemony. They also want to work together with other authoritarians. Trade is central to this new emerging alliance system. Putin is trying to weather the storm of western sanctions and carve out a new world order of trade with Iran and China.