The foreign ministry source also said Russia on Saturday formally informed Bangladesh that instead of Sergei Lavrov, Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Aleksandr Mantytsky will represent his country in the IORA meeting.

Speaking about this to Prothom Alo foreign ministry’s maritime affairs secretary Rear Admiral (retd) Md. Khurshed Alam on Sunday morning said, “The Russian foreign minister is not coming to Bangladesh to attend the minister level meeting of IORA, scheduled to be held on 24 November.”

Bangladesh was taking preparations for the Russian foreign minister’s courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a bilateral meeting with foreign minister AK Abdul Momen.

Besides the bilateral issues of Bangladesh and Russia, issues related to Ukraine situation, geopolitics, and Rohingya crisis were thought to be discussed in the bilateral meeting.

Diplomatic sources said Moscow has been basically putting emphasis on the political relations in the minister level meeting of IORA.

Russia was waiting for a long time for joining the 23-strong IORA. The country wants to use the minister level meeting in Dhaka this year politically as a scope to be a dialogue partner.

Sergei Lavrov was set to arrive in Dhaka on a two-day visit to attend the meeting. The visit had a geopolitical significance due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the current global situation.

Diplomatic analysts said the Russian foreign minister was arriving in Dhaka to get Bangladesh by them alongside India in South Asia to make Russia’s position stronger in the global scene.

On the other hand, Bangladesh wanted stress food security, the Rohingya crisis and other issues during the visit, the analysts added.