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Elvira Nabiullina, the Bank of Russia Governor, visited Tehran on Thursday for talks with Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Reza Farzin. The discussion was regarding improving ties between Russia and Iran’s commercial banks given that both countries are under heavy sanctions from the West. Frazin also said that the talks centered around “increasing banking infrastructure cooperation.”
While in Tehran, Nabiullina also joined talks during the Asian Clearing Union meeting, which Russia is observing in addition to officials from Belarus and Afghanistan, according to Zerohedge. Iran’s semi-official media agency, Tasnim, reported that Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber also talked with Nabiullina about eliminating the use of the dollar in transactions with Moscow.
Nabiullina’s visit comes on the heels of the Russian President’s head energy official, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak last week.
Nabiullina’s tenure as governor of the bank took a challenging turn last year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine when Western officials froze $300 billion in foreign reserves belonging to the Bank of Russia and imposed drastic economic sanctions on the country, which caused the value of the ruble to tumble.
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The bank’s governor, however, was able to not only stabilize the ruble but also managed to navigate the economic fallout caused by Western sanctions and Russia’s essential removal from the U.S.-dominated global financial system.
Nabiullina rose to prominence in the ranks of the USSR Science and Industry Union and its successor, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs after she graduated from Moscow State University in 1986. The current governor also excelled in the Ministry for Economic Development and Trade before becoming governor of the central bank in 2013.
Despite her desire to resign as governor after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Putin refused her request, appointing her for a new 5-year term instead.
In January Tehran and Moscow came to an agreement between their central banks to improve banking and financial relations between the two countries with Russia’s second-largest lender, state-owned VTB Bank PJSC, subsequently opening an office in Iran.
The improved banking ties are not the only cooperation between the two countries in the face of Western sanctions. Last week Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi both signed an agreement to build a railway that will pass through Iran and link Russia and India.
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