"Relations with the US have become more important than relations with Iran. Medvedev has changed the priorities, and you do see the results" says Viktor Kremeniuk, deputy director of the official Institute of USA-Canada Studies in Moscow. "But that doesn't mean Russia's preparing to abandon Iran. Medvedev cannot go against important Russian lobbies, who have vested interests that can't be ignored."
On Friday Mikhail Margelov, the head of the foreign affairs commission of the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament, insisted that any sanctions resolution will not prevent Russia from honoring an oft-delayed contract to deliver advanced, long-range S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Iran.
"The draft [sanctions resolution] will not hit current contracts between Russia and Iran," the independent Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. "It should be remembered that Russia is a responsible seller of its products on foreign markets and we are not interested in the militarization of the Middle East."
The $1 billion Bushehr plant on the Persian Gulf, which has also been the subject of repeated delays, will be completed and put into operation within three months, the head of the state-run atomic power agency, Sergei Kiriyenko, told journalists on Thursday.