Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Monitoring, Azizi said his ministry was working to diversify its trading partners and that Russia had offered the IEA a discount to average global commodity prices.
The move, the first known major international economic deal struck by the IEA since they returned to power more than a year ago, could help to ease Afghanistan’s isolation that has effectively cut it off from the global banking system.
Azizi said the deal would involve Russia supplying around one million tonnes of gasoline, one million tonnes of diesel, 500,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and two million tonnes of wheat annually.
Russia’s energy and agriculture ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the agreement. The office of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is in charge of oil and gas, also did not immediately respond.
Azizi said the agreement would run for an unspecified trial period, after which both sides were expected to sign a longer term deal if they were content with the arrangement.
He declined to give details on pricing or payment methods, but said Russia had agreed to a discount to global markets on goods that would be delivered to Afghanistan by road and rail.
The deal was finalized after an Afghan technical team spent several weeks in discussions in Moscow, having stayed on after Azizi visited there last month.