Conflicting reports have come from Tehran about Iran establishing economic relations with the breakaway region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine held by separatists.

Following a report by Radio Farda that cited the self-proclaimed Russian-backed president of Ukraine Denis Pushilin as announcing the agreement, the Iranian government's news website IRNA quoted “an informed source” in the Iranian Foreign Ministry denying the report while another Iranian state-run media says the deal was signed during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which was held in the city from June 15 to 18. 

According to the Young Journalists Club (YJC), a hardliner news outlet with links to the IRGC and an affiliate of the state broadcaster IRIB, Pushilin has said "The Donetsk People's Republic has a new partner now, and despite obstacles, our international economic relations are expanding.”

The agreement will see Iran supplying Donetsk with construction materials and horticultural products, including fruits and vegetables, while Donetsk, in turn, intends to export metals, cast iron, fertilizers, steel products, coal mining tools, as well as other types of mining equipment to Iran.

Radio Farda said that Pushilin mentioned Farnoush trade company – headquartered in Maku Free Zone in Iran’s West Azarbaijan province on the border with Turkey – as the company representing Iran in the agreement. 

Russia recognized the independence of two breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in February, which practically paved the way for the Russian invasion of Ukraine and deployment of Russian troops there.

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