Thursday, 2 February, 2023

Bangladesh won’t accept sanctioned Russian ships

Says Foreign Minister

Bangladesh won’t accept sanctioned Russian ships

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said Bangladesh will not accept those Russian ships which are under sanctions, noting that Bangladesh has developed a good relationship with the United States of America (USA), reports UNB.

“It is surprising that Russia knowingly sent a sanctioned ship by changing its name. We did not expect it. Now, we expect that Russia will send things by non-sanctioned ships,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He said Russia has hundreds of ships and there are 69 Russian ships which are under sanctions.

Bangladesh has conveyed to the Russian side that they can send any ship except those sanctioned 69 ships carrying equipment for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

Momen hoped that Russia would now send non-sanctioned ships carrying required materials.

Sanctioned Russian ship Sparta III was scheduled to dock at Mongla port in the southwestern part of the country at the end of December last year and unload cargo destined for the Rooppur NPP in Pabna.

But the authorities denied the ship permission to dock at the port after officials got a letter from the US Embassy in Dhaka saying that the ship was on a list of Russian ships sanctioned by the US.

Border Issues

Responding to a question on the situation along Bangladesh-Myanmar border, the Foreign Minister said what happened in the zero line is very unfortunate.

We protect our border. We remain alert. Naturally there is panic on our side amid fighting, he said.

At least one person reportedly belonging to a separatist group was killed and several others were injured in an hours-long gun battle between two armed militant forces inside Myanmar along the border with Bangladesh on Wednesday, media reported.

The fighting took place near the no-man’s land at Ghumdhum-Tumbru frontline in Bangladesh’s southeastern border district of Bandarban on Wednesday.

Momen said they are in discussion at various levels but they do not discuss with rebels. We are protecting our own areas.

Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said the Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Yao Wen will meet him tomorrow (Monday) and the situation along Bangladesh-Myanmar border is likely to come up for discussion.

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh did not allow anyone to enter afresh amid conflicts on the Myanmar side.

He said Bangladesh remains vigilant so that the country does not face any problem. “We want to see that this conflict is stopped. But it is up to two conflicting groups there,” Momen said, noting that there is weakness on the Myanmar side to deal with the situation.

Asked whether Bangladesh will seek China’s support to keep border areas peaceful, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh always seeks support from China as China has enough leverage on Myanmar. “We keep them informed.”

The Chinese Ambassador had separate meetings with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Sunday.