Russia and Iran signed a string of bilateral agreements on Tuesday, as President Vladimir Putin hosted his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani for his first official visit to Moscow, AFP reports. The meeting between Putin and Rouhani, who have grown closer through their mutual support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, mostly focused on flourishing economic ties in the fields of energy and industry.

Putin said in televised comments after the meeting that trade between the countries had “grown more than 70 percent” last year. “This is truly a good result considering that it was achieved in unstable global conditions and amid persistent volatility on the commodity and currency markets,” Putin added, according to AFP. FULL STORY