On 7 December, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow. Among other topics, they discussed trade between their countries, which increased by 20% over the past year amid trade in assault drones.
Details: According to Russian media reports, Putin stated that trade between the countries over the past year has reached almost US$5 billion, increasing by 20%.
They also talked about the signing of a free trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union at the end of December.
- The fact that Iran is preparing to provide Russia with up to several hundred drones was revealed back in July 2022. Since then, the Russian army has been constantly attacking Ukraine with Iranian drones.
- In August 2023, The Washington Post obtained internal documents about the operations of a plant producing Iranian drones at the facility in the Republic of Tatarstan's Alabuga Special Economic Zone. Its aim is to domestically build 6,000 drones by the summer of 2025.
- The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia is supplying Iran with cyber weapons, including digital surveillance tools, in order to get the relatively cheap and effective drones it uses to strike Ukrainian infrastructure facilities.
- On the night of 6-7 December alone, Ukraine’s Armed Forces destroyed 15 out of 18 attack drones launched by the Russians.