The relation between Bangladesh Russia is a historical one. It has a long history. Soviet Union (USSR) stands by the side of Bangladesh during the revolution days in 1971. Soviet Union has extended its hand towards the achieving of independence of Bangladesh in global diplomacy. Soviet Union expoiled the attempt of Pakistan to stop the war of liberation by giving Veto twice in the Security Council of the United Nations taking stand in favour of liberation war of Bangladesh. Soviet Union also extended hands of cooperation to Bangladesh at post liberation period. A historical journey has been started through the historical visit of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in a government tour of Soviet Union in 1972.
Bangabandhu has visited Russia with the expectation to build a new relation of friendship and cooperation between the two countries and also to express our gratitude for the effective contribution to our war of liberation. During the visit of Bangabandhu, an inter-governmental agreement on economic and technical cooperation, trade representation, cultural, education and scientific cooperation was signed.
Bangabandhu also approached the Soviet leadership during his visit with the request to assist in minesweeping of Chittagong port and cleaning of its sank ship and vessels in Kornofuli river.
The first Soviet minesweeper entered the port of Chittagong on April 26,1972. The works on mine sweeping and recovering of sank ships were done in 26 months. During the operation, a senior sailor Yuri.V.Rodkin lost his life as a hero. His grave is situated on premises of Bangladesh Military Naval Academy.
In 1971, the USSR supported the struggle of the people of Bangladesh for independence and was one of the first nations to recognize the new sovereign state.
Of particular importance was the Soviet Union’s position in the United Nations Organization during the discussions of the conflict between India and Pakistan (December 3-21, 1971). Our country vetoed the UN Security Council’s resolutions, sponsored by the United States and China, which artificially divided the issues of ceasefire in the Indian subcontinent and political resolution in East Pakistan, thus ignoring real reasons behind the military conflict.
Pakistan troops surrendered on December 16, 1971. On December 22, Bangladesh government returned to Dhaka and started reviving the country and working to secure international recognition of the newly born state.
On January 25, 1972, our countries exchanged notes on establishing diplomatic relations. Later, the USSR also assisted Bangladesh in joining the UN.
The first Soviet minesweeper entered the port of Chittagong on April 26, 1972. The works on minesweeping and raising sunk ships were concluded in 26 months. During the operation, a senior sailor Yuri V. Redkin lost his life as a hero. His grave is situated on the premises of Bangladesh Military Navy Academy.
In the 1970s and later, the USSR helped Bangladesh in revitalizing and developing its economy. In particular, the power plants “Ghorasal” and “Siddhirganj”, electrical equipment factory in Chittagong and other objects were built with financial and technical assistance of our country.
Russia and Bangladesh maintain fruitful contacts on the highest and high levels. Meetings between the heads of foreign ministries of both countries, including in the framework of the UN General Assembly sessions and other international organizations and fora, are regular.
In November 2010, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina participated in the Tiger International Forum in St Petersburg and had a meeting with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
During the Moscow visit of Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and State Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman in May 2010, the intergovernmental agreement on peaceful use of atomic energy was signed.
In April 2011 and in November 2012, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni met in Moscow. On July 1, 2013, they held a working meeting in Bandar-Seri-Begawan (Brunei).
ECONOMIC AND TRADE RELATIONS
Russia-Bangladesh economic and trade relations are based on the intergovernmental Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation and Trade Agreement, dated 1972.
On March 1, 2017 the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh on the Establishment of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was signed. The aim of the Commission is to develop broad-based cooperation between Russia and Bangladesh in various spheres. It will facilitate the diversification of bilateral trade, economic, scientific and technical ties between the business communities of the two countries and assist to remove barriers to mutual trade.
In 2016 the bilateral trade volume exceeded 1.4 billion USD. More than 90% of the Bangladeshi import to Russia consists of ready-made garments, seafood, and leather items. Russia exports metal-roll, raw materials for textile industry, machinery equipment, fertilizers, crops, including high quality milling wheat. It is important to note that our bilateral trade is generally balanced – the export from Russia is almost equal to the import from Bangladesh.
Cultural cooperation is one of the most actively developing spheres of the Russia-Bangladesh relationship, contributing to better mutual understanding as a non-material basis for the bilateral relations.
The brightest page in the recent history of our cultural cooperation, without any doubt, is related to the Days of Russian culture in Bangladesh and the Days of Bangladeshi culture in Russia. As per the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the sphere of Culture for the years 2013-2015, signed during the visit of Sheikh Hasina to Moscow, the Days of Russian Culture were held in Bangladesh on November 21-26, 2014 (inaugurated by Gregory Ivliev, Deputy Minister for Culture of Russia), and on September 11-17, 2015, the Days of Bangladeshi Culture were held in Russia (inaugurated by Asaduzzaman Noor, Minister for Cultural Affairs of Bangladesh).
The Days of Russian Culture in Bangladesh took place in Dhaka and Chittagong. The Orenburg State Academic Russian Folk Choir, led by its artistic director People’s Artist V.A. Pozdneev, visited Bangladesh. The photo exhibition “Images of Russia” was organized for Dhaka residents. The Bangladeshi audience was fascinated by the performance of the Russian artists while Russian performers were deeply moved by sympathy of the people of Bangladesh.
RHYTHMIC GYMNAST MARGARITA MAMUN REPRESENTED RUSSIA IN OLYMIC
The athlete representing Russia at the Rio 2016 has dual citizenship. She has become the first Bangladesh citizen to win Olympic gold. It is to be recalled that Margarita Mamun won the gold medal for Russia in the 2016 Olympics competition for Rhythmic Gymnastics. She had represented Bangladesh at a junior tournament before.
A lot of internet users note that Mamun’s triumph at the Olympiad cannot be only considered as “success achieved by Bangladesh”. Nevertheless, her father’s compatriots feel excited about Margarita Mamun’s performance at the Rio Olympiad and call her “an outstanding athlete”.
Bangladesh To buy A Dozen Multirole Fighters From Russia
The South Asian country first published a tender in the early months of 2017 for eight aircraft with an additional four to follow. Speculation was rife the Bangladesh Air Force preferred the MiG-35 to augment its existing MiG-29’s. But in May it was revealed the Su-30SME emerged as the winner. It’s a twin engine export model with superb performance characteristics and equipped with Russian avionics.
The Su-30SME isn’t to be confused with the Su-30MKI, which is assembled in India and uses Western European subsystems. Neither is it the same as the Su-35S, a.k.a. the Flanker E, ordered by Indonesia.
The Su-30SME’s biggest draw is its range (3,000 kilometers) and potential firepower. Bangladesh is a country spread over a vast flood plain wedged between India and Myanmar with unrestricted access to the Bay of Bengal. Although not locked in any major territorial dispute, possessing at least one squadron of Su-30SME’s would give its air force the ability to patrol and defend its land and maritime borders.
The induction of Su-30SME’s will also help fulfill the military’s Force Goal 2030 modernization plans and pave the way for replacing the obsolescent Chinese J-7 and Q-5’s still in service. But the Su-30SME deal with United Aircraft Corporation marks a huge investment. The actual cost of a single unit isn’t publicly available, but going by a $50 million estimate that covers imported avionics, Dhaka must pay at least $400 million in tranches with extra costs for operations and maintenance in the long-term.
Russia signs Bangladesh Nuclear Power plant Set up
Alexey Likhachev, CEO of Rosatom, Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, and Science and Technology Minister Yafes Osman signed the collaboration agreement in Moscow on Wednesday.
Rosatom said in a media release that the agreement stipulates provisions to reprocess the spent Russian nuclear fuel from the Rooppur NPP at subsidiary enterprises of the Russian corporation.
“Rooppur NPP will be equipped with two Russian VVER reactors, each with a minimum capacity of 1,200 MW. The VVER-1200 offered by Rosatom is a modern generation 3+ project which meets all post-Fukushima safety standards and international rules,” the release quoted Likhachev as saying .
Russia is helping Bangladesh to set up its first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna to meet energy demands.
The first reactor with the capacity to produce 1,200MW is expected to go on stream in 2023, and the second one with the same capacity the next year.
The government approved the Tk 1.13 trillion nuclear power plant – the most expensive project in Bangladesh’s history – in December last year.
Russia is providing loans worth nearly Tk 910 billion ($11.38 billion) for the project. The government will fund the remaining Tk 220 billion.
Bangladesh to Launch Bangabandhu Satellite With the Help of Russia
Bangladesh bought the slot from Intersputnik, a Russian satellite company, for $28 million early this year. The purchase agreement stipulates that the satellite has to be launched by June 2018. Critics say the satellite will not be able to bring much benefit to telecom services, which are run through fibre optic cables in the country.
According to BTRC experts, the satellite will help improve weather forecast system and facilitate exploration of natural resources on land and sea. A BTRC official involved in the project said landlocked countries such as Nepal and Bhutan, which have no submarine cable, maintain their telecommunications through satellites. It means, this satellite’s importance will not diminish.
Monirul said a company would be formed to handle all financial aspects of the satellite services. “Commercial success of the satellite will depend mostly on the company’s performance. We need to hire experienced people to get optimum benefits.” The BTRC has selected two locations for the satellite’s ground handling: Telecom Staff College in Gazipur and Betbunia Earth Station in Rangamati.