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Iran will start to supply aircraft parts and equipment to Russia and service Russian aircraft in a new agreement signed between the two countries.
Western nations and their allies moved to isolate Moscow after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. Russia looked to other rogue nations, including Iran, to help circumvent the sanctions and ride out the immediate economic impact.
China and India purchased Russian energy in the run-up to the invasion, and China made some key trade deals with its northern neighbor. Iran has stepped in to sign an agreement that will provide Russia more flight options and airplane assistance in the near term, according to The Moscow Times, citing the Mehr agency.
The agreement includes a pledge to increase flights between the two nations up to 35 per week – a significant boost when only about 19 countries or states provide direct flight access to Russia.
Even those nations have advised that passengers face the risk of lawsuits in countries considered “friendly” with Russia. Western nations ordered the termination of Russian carrier contracts during the earliest phase of sanctions.
The deal follows an agreement between Tehran and Moscow to supply Russian forces with drones so that the Kremlin can sustain its war offensive, which shifted from a broad attack and attempt to conquer the whole of Ukraine to focus only on the eastern Donbas region.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan disclosed that intelligence agencies had obtained information that indicated Tehran would supply Moscow with drones, as well as training the troops in their use.
“Our information indicates that the Iranian government is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred UAVs, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline,” Sullivan told reporters in the White House briefing room.
“It’s unclear whether Iran has delivered any of these UAVs to Russia already,” Sullivan said, “but this is just one example of how Russia is looking to countries like Iran for capabilities.”