Earlier on Wednesday, Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Aleksandr Mantytsky in reply to queries from newsmen said talks with Bangladesh is underway at the government level to export wheat and fertiliser from Russia. Some 350,000 tonnes of wheat and over 100,000 tonnes of potash fertiliser will be sent primarily.

Asked on food crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war, the Russian envoy said they are concerned over global food crisis, which is why Russia has taken initiatives to keep food supply from Ukraine normal.

However, Russia holds no responsibility for global economic crisis because Russia did not impose any kind of economic sanctions. The US and Europe imposed sections so you will not hold Russia responsible for this crisis, he added.

According to diplomatic sources, officials from both countries held talks in Moscow on Wednesday to import wheat and fertiliser from Russia and they discussed process and price mainly.

When asked ambassador Kamrul Ahsan said talks with officials of Russia’s food ministry were fruitful on Wednesday on the import of wheat. Preparation is underway to ink a deal in next couple of days. Bangladesh will import wheat within 45 days since opening the letter of credits (LC) after the deal is signed.

There was also a progress on the import of fertiliser during Wednesday’s talks and the issue of importing over 100,000 tonnes of fertiliser is going to be finalised soon, he added.

After launching operations in Ukraine on 24 February, import of commodities from Russia came to a halt. The US has imposed sanctions including bank transactions on Russia.

As a result, the matters including opening LC remained pending. Besides, a stalemate has been created over the mode of transactions due to the sanctions. Moreover, the movement of ships in the Black Sea is still not safe. Recently, the USA has withdrawn the sanction on Russian agriculture and food items.

Russia and Ukraine were main source of Bangladesh's wheat import. Of the total demand, at least 25 per cent of wheat was imported from these two countries.

While in response to the queries of newsmen at a roundtable at the Russian embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday, the ambassador said Russia has made a proposal to sell non-refinery and refinery oil to Bangladesh. Discussions between two sides are going on over this.

The Russian embassy organised the roundtable to mark six months of Russia's 'special military operation' to Ukraine.

The diesel sample that Russia has provided to Bangladesh contains higher level of sulphur than the approved level of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).

After a roundtable, in reply to a query from this correspondent on weather a lower price has been offered to Bangladesh because Russia’s dirty diesel, Aleksandr Mantytsky said talks is on between both countries on sales of fuel oil, but it should not be right to comment on it untll the issue is finalised.

Asked on the trading with own currencies of both counties, the Russian envoy said talks are underway among the central bank officials of both countries on financial transaction and they will decide it.

In reply to whether Gazprom has any plan to explore offshore gas in Bangladesh, Aleksandr Mantytsky said Bangladesh will have to decide it.