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Russian Minister Plans to Visit Iran for Trade Talks

Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev will visit Iran in April to discuss a broad range of trade issues, he said Wednesday, playing down reports from Tehran that a barter deal involving Iranian oil exports was in the offing.

Reuters reported Jan. 10 that Moscow and Tehran were in talks on a $1.5 billion per month oil-for-goods swap that would enable Iran, now subject to U.S.-led financial sanctions, to increase its crude exports substantially.

Details have, however, been scant and slow to emerge, amid U.S. warnings that a trade deal would undermine efforts to follow through on an interim agreement struck by Iran and six world powers in November to curb its nuclear program.

"The trip will probably happen — it won't be in March but at the end of April," Ulyukayev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

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