MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Iranian authorities are awaiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to the country in 2016, however the visit of the minister is not on the official agenda yet, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei told Sputnik on Tuesday.
"Our ministers hold regular phone consultations. They have also met in Lausanne recently, this means that there is an active exchange of views. Yes, Iran is awaiting the visit of Lavrov and it has been reported that [it will take place] this year, but it is still not in the program [of official visits]. Maybe it is caused by the fact that the [foreign] ministers [of the two countries] often meet at other venues," Sanaei said.
The Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission is scheduled to convene on December 5-7 in the Iranian capital of Tehran, Sanaei told Sputnik.
"As for economy, the most significant event is the scheduled meeting of the [Russian-Iranian] intergovernmental commission on December 5-7 in Tehran. It is very important event, which I hope, will give a new impetus to our trade and economic relations," Sanaei said.
According to the ambassador, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who is also the commission's co-chair, is expected to attend the meeting.
"On November 13-14, the speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, will pay a visit to Tehran," Ambassador Sanaei added.
In Tehran, Matvienko is expected to hold negotiations with Ali Larijani, who chairs the Iranian parliament, the diplomat said.
Russian, Iranian Diplomats to Discuss Consular Ties, Visa Waivers in December
"In December, Tehran will host a commission on consular cooperation between Foreign Ministries of the two countries," Ambassador Mehdi Sanaei said.
Russia and Iran have already simplified visa rules in place for their nationals – business people, scientists, educators and several other categories of travelers – which have been in force since February 2016.
"Now they are talking about abolishing visa requirements for tourist groups," Sanaei said, adding the two sides were going to raise this question at the December meeting. "I hope they will strike common ground."
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, signed a deal that eased bilateral visa rules during Putin’s latest visit to Tehran in 2015.