PM for stopping Russia-Ukraine war peacefully through negotiations
DHAKA, Sept 8, 2023 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called for finding a way to stop the Russia-Ukraine war through negotiations and a peaceful manner.
She made the call when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid a courtesy call on her at the latter’s official Ganabhaban residence here this morning prior to her departure for New Delhi, India to attend the G-20 Summit.
PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed reporters after the meeting.
Lavrov arrived in Dhaka on Thursday evening on a two-day visit after attending the East Asia Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.
This is the first-ever visit to Bangladesh by any Russian Foreign Minister since independence.
The Russian Foreign Minister is scheduled to attend the G20 Summit in New Delhi on September 9-10 after completing his visit to Bangladesh.
Lavrov also held a meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday night.
Lavrov was scheduled to visit Dhaka in November last year, but he had to cancel it because of his schedule changes.
The Prime Minister requested Russia to find a solution so that the developing countries across the globe do not face economic risks over crisis of food, fuel and fertilizer due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions and counter-sanctions.
“It is necessary to stop the war as soon as possible in a peaceful manner,” she said.
During the meeting, both the leaders said Bangladesh and Russia are trusted and tested friends for long and stressed the need to strengthen the relations further.
The Prime Minister called for increasing trade and commerce between the friendly countries and sought larger Russian investment in Bangladesh.
In reply, the Russian foreign minister said they are thinking about importing readymade garments products (RMG) from Bangladesh alongside making investments in Bangladesh’s special economic zones.
To this end, Lavrov has sought specific proposals from Bangladesh regarding import of RMG products and investments in economic zones and high-tech parks which will be beneficial for both the countries.
Describing Bangladesh as the second largest partner in terms of commerce and investment in South Asia, the Russian foreign minister stressed the need for increasing communications between the businessmen of the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina recalled with due honour the contribution of Russia in the Liberation War of 1971 and how Russia had helped in removing mines from Chattogram and Mongla seaports soon after the war.
The Russian foreign minister praised Bangladesh’s balanced and responsible stance over the Ukraine-Russia war.
In this regard, the Premier reiterated that Bangladesh believes in the foreign policy adopted by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman – “Friendship to all, malice to none.”
“Bangladesh maintains the policy strongly for the sake of its overall socio-economic development,” she said.
She mentioned that the Father of the Nation visited Russia in 1972 soon after the country’s independence.
The meeting also discussed about the progress of the Rooppur Power Plant.
Bangladesh Premier said nuclear fuel will be imported to Bangladesh in October next for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and requested Russian President Vladimir Putin to join the programme virtually.
Besides, the meeting emphasised on finding a way for establishing long-term agreement between the countries for importing fertilizer from Russia.
It also discussed about an agreement signed between the two countries to import 3 lakh tonnes of wheat from Russia.
Lavrov assured of extending cooperation in meeting Bangladesh’s energy demand.
The Russian foreign minister highly praised the overall socio-economic and infrastructure development of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Minister of Science and Technology of Bangladesh Yeafesh Osman, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah and Senior Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Masud Bin Momen, among others, were present.