Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Iran on Wednesday for talks on boosting trade and energy cooperation as the two countries grapple with Western economic sanctions, Reuters reported.
Tehran and Moscow both have huge oil and gas reserves but are constrained by sanctions that limit their ability to export their output.
During his two-day visit, Russia’s top diplomat is expected to discuss with Iranian officials the 2015 “nuclear deal, the situations in Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan, and boosting commercial and energy cooperation,” state television’s website Iribnews added.
The nuclear accord was agreed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers. It lifted most international sanctions in exchange for curbs on Tehran’s nuclear programme.
Russia has been an active proponent of the agreement, and Lavrov’s visit is seen as an attempt to make the deal a reality.
On the sidelines of the talks, Lavrov will also meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, on “the current situation in the Middle East and the world in general, as well as bilateral relations,” the Kremlin said.
.@ZelenskyyUa: “On June 22 we honor the memory of everyone who died in WW2. On February 24 the occupiers came to our land. We’re fighting for a new victory. No enemy will break our will. We remember the victims of WW2! We believe in good, peace & justice!”
A drone strike started a fire at a refinery in southwestern Russia near the border with Ukraine on Wednesday, but no one was hurt, and the blaze was contained quickly, officials said, according to The Associated Press.
The fire engulfed industrial equipment at the Novoshakhtinsk oil processing plant in the Rostov-on-Don region. The authorities said that dozens of firefighters extinguished the flames in a half-hour and no one was hurt.
The refinery said in a statement that the fire was caused by a strike carried out by two drones, describing it as a “terrorist” act. Ukrainian officials haven’t claimed responsibility for the drone strike.
Russian forces pounded Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv and surrounding countryside with rockets, killing at least 15 people, in what Kyiv called a bid to force it to pull resources from the main battlefield to protect civilians from attack, Reuters reported.
The Russian strikes on Kharkiv, throughout Tuesday and continuing on Wednesday morning, were the worst for weeks in the area where normal life had been returning since Ukraine pushed Russian forces back in a major counter-offensive last month.
“Russian forces are now hitting the city of Kharkiv in the same way that they previously were hitting Mariupol – with the aim of terrorizing the population,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video address.