Kremlin confirms oil-for-goods swap with Iran under way

(Reuters) – The Kremlin confirmed on Tuesday that an oil-for-goods barter deal between Russia and Iran was being implemented and said all legal barriers had been removed to Moscow supplying S-300 missile systems to Tehran.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to give any details of the barter deal. But asked whether a senior Foreign Ministry official was correct when he said on Monday that the exchange had begun, Peskov told reporters: “Absolutely. Of course.”

Peskov also said no legal barriers remained to supplying the advanced Russian air defence system S-300 to Iran after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday lifting a ban on such deliveries.

“One the whole you can say one thing – from the juridical point of view there are no longer any constraints (on deliveries) now that the decree has been signed,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters.

Iran and six world powers, including Russia, reached an interim deal with Iran this month on curbing its nuclear programme. They have until June 30 to work out a detailed agreement under which Tehran would allow international control in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions.

Sources told Reuters more than a year ago that a barter deal worth up to $20 billion was being discussed with Tehran and would involve Russia buying up to 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.

Officials from the two countries have issued contradictory statements since then on whether a barter deal has been signed, but Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday one was already being implemented.

By Reuters