Russia’s Putin holds second phone call in just over a week with Iran’s Raisi

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Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone call with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday, the Kremlin said, their second conversation in nine days.

In a brief readout of the call, it said the two presidents discussed the situation in Syria - where both have backed President Bashar al-Assad in a long-running civil war - and cooperation in transport and energy. The statement made no reference to the war in Ukraine.

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Iran has taken on greater importance as a partner for Russia since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last February triggered waves of Western sanctions against Moscow. Tehran has acknowledged supplying Russia with military drones, though it says they were sent before the war started.

The United States said last week that Iran could be contributing to war crimes in Ukraine by providing drones to Russia.

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