Saturday, 23 September, 2023

Dhaka finds Russian agri commodities competitive on price, but payment issues linger

  • UNB, Dhaka
  • 7th September, 2023 06:07:09 PM
  • Print news

With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov set to touchdown in Dhaka Thursday, Russia is interested in supplying a number of agricultural commodities to Bangladesh at the “best, most competitive” price, officials said.

Russia is interested in expanding cooperation with Bangladesh in supplying various food products such as yellow peas, chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils and sunflower oil on a G-to-G basis.

If Bangladesh is interested in developing cooperation in this specific field, the Russians will hold talks with the Ministry of Commerce.

Bangladesh is likely to focus on payment issues in light of the US sanctions on Russia, as the offer looks likely to be very competitive on price, officials said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will pay a working visit to Bangladesh on September 7-8.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen is scheduled to receive him at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 4:15pm on Thursday.

They will jointly meet the press at 8pm on Thursday after a bilateral meeting to be held at a city hotel.

Lavrov, the world's longest-serving foreign minister, will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday morning.

During the visit, the current state of Russia-Bangladesh relations will be examined in detail, said Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

She said the two sides will also exchange views on the most pressing regional and international problems.

They may also discuss issues like food, fertilizers, fuel, and the Rohingya crisis during the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit.

"We will discuss the complex situations that have come across the world since the Ukraine crisis. We will highlight the problems that we have," said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.

Acknowledging a long-standing relationship with Russia, he said Bangladesh can request Russia to find a peaceful solution to the Ukraine issue as soon as possible.

The two countries will discuss prospects for development of bilateral relations and exchange views on the most pressing regional and international issues, said the Russian Embassy in Dhaka.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr Momen said Bangladesh would raise the Rohingya issue during the visit of Lavrov.

“We will have a bilateral meeting the day he arrives here. We have many bilateral issues to discuss. We have the Rohingya issue, too,” FM Momen said.

Lavrov will attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi on September 9-10 after completing his visit to Bangladesh.

Lavrov was scheduled to visit Bangladesh last November, mainly to attend the 22nd IORA Council of Ministers meeting, but the visit was called off at the last minute.

In Delhi, Lavrov is expected to speak at two plenary sessions: on September 9, at the One Planet session, focused on sustainable development and stable economic growth; and on September 10, at the One Future session, with an emphasis on the key tasks of democratisation and strengthening the role of the world majority countries in global economic institutions, as well as implementation of the digital transformation.