State Duma (lower parliamentary house) speaker Gennady Seleznev held a meeting with new ambassador of Iran to Russia Qolam Reza Shafei Thursday. The meeting was timed to the start of the ambassador's diplomatic mission in the Russian Federation. Seleznev confirmed his invitation to chairman of the Iranian parliament Mehdi Karrubi to visit Russia. The Duma speaker pointed to the fact that "relations between the two countries' parliaments develop dynamically." According to Seleznev's press secretary, the Iranian ambassador is optimistic about Russia-Iran cooperation in all spheres, including economic one. The ambassador stressed the great role played by the State Duma in this process. He reminded of the treaty between Russia, Iran and India on the North-South transport corridor. According to Qolam Reza Shafei, the Iranian parliament has already ratified the treaty and Iranians hope the State Duma will do so. Seleznev reported in turn that ratification of the treaty had been scheduled for this December and expressed a hope that Russian parliamentarians would ratify it. The ambassador spoke about Iran's interest in developing cooperation with Russia and stressed that Iran is primarily interested in Russian investments in oil-and-gas sector, ship-building and electric power plant construction, the press secretary noted.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated