Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 139

Iran plans to open a mission in the Russian Federation’s Dagestan republic, Iranian ambassador to Russia Mehdi Safari told a news conference yesterday in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala. Safari was visiting at the invitation of Dagestan’s leadership to identify mutually advantageous areas of economic and cultural cooperation. The talks focused on establishing direct air links and Iranian investments in Dagestan’s food processing industry to enable it to export to Iran. (Itar-Tass, July 16)

Dagestan’s leadership is loyal to Moscow and would not have initiated these talks without Moscow’s consent. The republic is in dire economic straits because of the Russian military blockade of its borders with Chechnya and with Azerbaijan, which separates Dagestan from Iran.

Ukraine Coal Strike Settlement Close.