Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh for a two-day visit.
Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, Dr A K Abdul Momen received him at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Lavrov is the first Russian Foreign Minister to visit Bangladesh since its 1971 independence.
Lavrov and his Bangladesh counterpart had a meeting. According to officials, Momen discussed the issue of timely completion of the nuclear power project and bilateral trade issues with Lavrov.
At a joint press conference after the bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart, AK Abdul Momen, Lavrov assured Bangladesh that Moscow was committed to complete a nuclear power project on time, despite obstacles resulting from Western sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
Lavrov said,“Our flagship joint project is construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant on the territory of Bangladesh.”
“The project is progressing smoothly in line with the schedule, and delivery and charging of first nuclear fuel are expected as early as in October,” Lavrov added.
Bangladesh is building the first of two nuclear power plants in collaboration with Russian state-owned atomic company, Rosatom in a $12.65bn project, 90 percent of which is financed through a Russian loan repayable within 28 years with a 10-year grace period.
“The two countries are also collaborating to find solutions for importing essential commodities from Russia to Bangladesh, and alternative currencies to the dollar are being explored for trade settlements,” Lavrov averred.
He said that Bangladesh was a good and longtime partner in South Asia and so they had agreed to strengthen their cooperation in various areas and enhance trade and investments.
Lavrov said they had discussed the possibility of supplying LNG to Bangladesh along with food and fertiliser.
He appreciated Bangladesh, saying that it was being guided by its national policy against the pressure exerted by the US and its allies.
Momen Delighted By Lavrov’s Visit
On his part, Bangladesh Foreign Minister, AK Abdul Momen said, “We are very delighted as the Russian Foreign Minister is visiting Bangladesh for the first time.”
“We have deep relations with Russia,” Momen added.
Momen disclosed that he and Lavrov discussed Rohingya issue, trade and investment and greater market access to Russia.
During their talks, Lavrov stated that Russia supported continuous negotiations between Bangladesh and Myanmar in finding the solutions to the Rohingya issue.
Responding to a question, Momen averred, “We don’t want war. We want all issues get resolved through dialogue and discussion.”
“We maintain a very balanced foreign policy. We follow our own interests, and till today, we are maintaining a very independent policy. Our objective is to resolve all the issues through dialogue and discussion.”AK Abdul Momen
The Russian Foreign Minister will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday, September 8, 2023, morning.
He will visit Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi before departure on Friday.
The Russian Foreign Minister will attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi on 9-10 September after completing his visit to Bangladesh.
Lavrov was scheduled to visit Bangladesh on November 23 last year, mainly to attend the 22nd IORA Council of Ministers meeting, held in Dhaka on November 24, 2022.
However, the visit was called off at the last minute.