Russia, Iran to build new corridor in face of Western sanctions

Russia and Iran have agreed to build a railway that they hope will be major trade route in the future.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi held online talks Wednesday.

They oversaw the signing of a deal to construct a railway in northern Iran, along the Caspian Sea coast. Russia is to finance the project.

Putin said he plans to construct a major transport corridor linking the ports of the Baltic Sea in northern Russia and the Persian Gulf in southern Iran.

He said the new throughway will be used to deliver food and other agricultural goods to Iran, the Persian Gulf states and African countries.

He said the corridor "will make a sizable and practical input into global food security."

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, in charge of energy issues, was seen visiting an oil and gas fair being held in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday.

Accompanied by an Iranian minister, he visited booths of Russian firms to demonstrate Russia's strengthening of ties with Iran in the energy sector.

These moves come as Western nations continue to apply further economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran.

The United States appears increasingly suspicious of Iran, which since last August has supplied Russia with more than 400 drones that are being used to attack key Ukrainian infrastructure.