Russia will begin importing Iranian oil under a long-heralded oil-for-goods barter arrangement in the coming week, Iran's oil minister was quoted as saying, more than a year after negotiations began. The Kremlin announced in April it had begun to implement the deal, in which Iran would export up to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to Russia in exchange for goods of an equivalent value, but traders said they saw no signs of it. "Russia will begin oil imports from Iran this week," the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Bijan Zanganeh as saying on Saturday evening, as he returned to Tehran from an OPEC meeting in Vienna.
"We agreed with (Russian Energy Minister) Alexander Novak in Vienna that Russia will buy less than 500,000 bpd from Iran in exchange for cash, and Iran will use this cash to buy Russian goods such as steel, wheat and oil products from Russia." Iran's oil exports have fallen by more than half to around 1.1 million bpd since 2012, when Western powers imposed sanctions aimed at curbing the Islamic Republic's disputed nuclear program.