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EghtesadOnline: Russia has been in talks over buying oil from Iran, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday, confirming earlier reports.

At the sidelines of an economic forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Novak told reporters that he expected the deal to be reached "within weeks." The purchases will be carried out via Promsirieimport, a trading unit of Russia's Energy Ministry, he said, Reuters reported.

Novak discussed the oil deal with Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in a visit to Tehran last week.

Iranian Students' News Agency cited Zanganeh as saying last week that Iran will begin selling 100,000 barrels per day of oil to Russia within the next 15 days and receive payment half in cash and half in goods and services, Financial Tribune reported.

“We were ready to sign the contract tonight but our Russian counterpart was in a hurry and had to leave,” Zanganeh said at the time.

The prospective oil deal is seen as a move that would further bolster Tehran-Moscow's economic relations as the two countries continue to expand their strategic partnership in the region.

According to reports, Russian companies have begun the construction of two new nuclear power plants in south Iran in a deal estimated to cost around $10 billion. The new power stations will be built over the next decade.

Russia is also building a thermal power plant in Hormozgan Province with a total output capacity of 1,400 megawatts.

Alexander Novak Iran-Russia Trade Iran oil