Iran, Russia to trade in local currencies instead of US dollar – state media

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran and Russia have finalised an agreement to trade in their local currencies instead of the U.S dollar, Iran’s state media reported on Wednesday.

The agreement was finalised during a meeting between the governors of the two countries’ central banks in Russia, it said.

Both Iran and Russia are subject to U.S. sanctions.

“Banks and economic actors can now use infrastructures including non-SWIFT interbank systems to deal in local currencies,” state media said.

Members of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) signed a fully-fledged free trade agreement with Iran on Dec. 25.

Iran has become increasingly important for the Kremlin after Western sanctions over Moscow’s conflict in Ukraine limited Russia’s foreign trade routes and forced it to look for markets outside Europe.

Iranian authorities have said military cooperation with Russia is expanding. Iran said in November it had finalised arrangements for Russia to provide it with Su-35 fighter jets, Mi-28 attack helicopters and Yak-130 pilot training aircraft.

(Reporting by Elwely Elwelly; editing by Christina Fincher)