CHATTOGRAM: Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Aleksandr Mantytsky reiterated their stance that his country doesn’t interfere in any country’s internal affairs and hoped that elections will be free and fair in Bangladesh.
He made the comments while exchanging views with journalists at Chattogram Press Club on Thursday afternoon.
In reply to another question regarding the US sanctions and new visa policy, the envoy said,” We don’t recognise any sanctions imposed unilaterally by any country. We only recognise sanctions by the UN Security Council.”
Terming such unilateral sanctions as illegal, he said Russian Embassy doesn’t comment on any relation with any country.
Aleksandr mentioned that Russia and Bangladesh have been maintaining close friendship and cooperation since 1971, when the USSR whole-heartedly supported the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
“Today, substantive political contacts at different levels have been conducted on a regular basis. Such mechanisms as the foreign office consultations and the parliamentary friendship groups appear to be quite instrumental in this regard,” observed the envoy.
“Our two countries have no major unresolved political issues and share views on the key global issues. Moscow highly appreciates the well-balanced, neutral stance of Dhaka on the Ukraine crisis and its firm intention to follow the principle “Friendship to all, malice to none” declared by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” he added.
“Since 2009, our trade turnover increased several times and reached almost 3 billion USD in 2021. Machinery, equipment, vehicles, metals and agricultural products like wheat, fertilizers, legumes and mustard are the key items of Russian exports to Bangladesh,” informed Aleksandr adding, Bangladesh provides Russian market primarily with high-quality textile products.
Unfortunately, in the year 2022 bilateral trade volume decreased by 21.4 per cent, down to 2.35 billion USD, said the ambassador.
He informed that the Russian State Corporation Rosatom is implementing the flagship project of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna. This key energy object will add 2.4 Gigawatt of installed capacity to the national grid of Bangladesh.
In 2021-2022, the reactor pressure vessels were installed in both units of the plant. Delivery of fresh nuclear fuel to Rooppur is scheduled for this October, he hoped.
“The efforts are being made to diversify bilateral trade, with a special focus on the Bangladeshi exports to Russia. Recently, a MoU was signed between Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation and the Russian company National Group LLC, which provides for the supplies of local potato and other food items to Russia,” said Aleksandr Mantytsky.
Pharmaceuticals, jute, leather and seafood of Bangladeshi origin also possess sufficient potential to obtain its share in the Russian market, he observed.
Chattogram Press Club President Salauddin Md Reza presided over the meeting also attended by senior leaders and members of the club.