Russian President Vladimir Putin is heading to Iran to sign a joint statement with the country's leaders Wednesday, Moscow said — a move that signals the Kremlin is prepared to remain close to the increasingly isolated state.
Putin is due to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with talks expected to deepen the countries' economic and political ties. Azerbaijan's President Iham Aliyev will also be present at the meetings.
The Kremlin told CNBC that the meeting was at Rouhani's invitation and was the second time that the presidents had met, their last get together being in August 2016 when a trilateral summit was held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The topics for discussion will range from trade and economic cooperation to political issues, including the "the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and discussions on regional conflicts," the Kremlin said in an emailed statement.
Energy links, transport and the Resht-Astara railway route, part of the international North-South transportation corridor, would also form part of the talks.
Moscow said the leaders would sign a joint statement later Wednesday, signaling that deals could be agreed.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov confirmed this, telling reporters on Wednesday: "I am confident that today's visit by the Russian president to Tehran will be marked by new important agreements, and we will soon learn about them," Russia's TASS news agency reported.