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Russia and Iran are firming up bilateral relations in a ‘trusting’ atmosphere, Russia’s foreign ministry said early on Tuesday after its chief, Sergei Lavrov, was received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during a visit to Tehran.

“In a traditionally trusting atmosphere, current aspects of the bilateral agenda were substantively discussed with an emphasis on further building up the entire complex of multifaceted Russian-Iranian partnership,” the foreign ministry said in a statement on the Telegram messaging app.

Lavrov, who went to Tehran shortly after an Asia trip to China and North Korea, discussed energy and logistics projects with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

As has been the Russian norm, few details of the talks, which took place amid the rising tensions in the Middle East, have been disclosed.

Lavrov also participated in regional talks hosted by Iran, aiming to bring peace to the South Caucasus region after Azerbaijani forces last month recaptured the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh and forced thousands of ethnic Armenians to flee.

Since launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow has sought to firm up ties with countries traditionally considered Western aligned, accusing “the collective West” of trying to break up Russia.

Russia’s Lavrov to visit Iran for talks Monday

Ukraine has urged Tehran to stop supplying deadly drones to Russia, which Kyiv says have played a major role in Moscow’s attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure.

Iran initially denied supplying the Shahed kamikaze drones to Russia but later said it had provided a small number before Moscow launched the war.

The United States has said that it has been concerned by the “burgeoning defence partnership” between Iran and Russia, which poses risks not only to Ukraine but also to Iran’s neighbours.

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