Russian naval ships call at Chittagong port for first time in half a century: TASS

Russian ships at Chittagong port
Russian embassy

A Russian naval group has called at the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh for the first time in almost half a century, Russian state news agency TASS reported today, Sunday.

The Pacific Fleet’s naval group comprises the large anti-submarine warfare ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Panteleyev and the oceanic tanker Pechenga, a TASS correspondent reported from Chattogram.

The Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Mantytskiy told TASS that the last time Russian combat ships called at Bangladesh 50 years ago to carry out operation to clear the Chittagong port of mines immediately after the Liberation War in 1971.

"At that time, the group of Russian naval ships came here actually to save the young country that gained its independence in 1971 from a humanitarian catastrophe. After the war of independence, the port’s waters were mined and also tens of vessels were sunk there," the ambassador said.

The Bangladeshi authorities turned to various countries with a request to help resolve the problem. Some of them agreed but for a large sum of money, which the republic lacked. It was only the Soviet Union that agreed to provide support for humanitarian reasons, TAAS quoted the envoy as saying.

Russian honorary consul in Chattogram Ashik Imran told TAAS that the Russian naval sailors have again called at the port and this time solely on a friendly visit.

"This is evidence that the relations between the two states are currently at a very high level," TAAS quoted him as saying.