BNP denounces Russian spokesperson's statement

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi (L) and Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria ZakharovaFile ph

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has denounced the statement of Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova regarding Bangladesh. It said such a statement has hurt the sentiment of the democracy-aspiring people of the country.

BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi responded to the remarks of the Russian spokesperson on behalf of the party in a press release on Saturday.

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Maria Zakharova, said in a message on her X account on 22 November that, “Information has come to light regarding a meeting at the end of October between US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas and a high-ranking representative of the local opposition. They reportedly discussed plans to organise mass anti-government protests in the country during the meeting.”

She also termed this as the attempts by the United States and its allies to influence internal political processes in Bangladesh. Her statement was shared from the verified Facebook page of the Russian Embassy in Dhaka.

Denouncing Maria Zakharova’s statement, BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said, “The Russian spokesperson’s statement contradicts people’s aspiration for a fair and participatory election.”

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Citing the Russian spokesperson’s statement as wrong and misinterpreted, the senior BNP leader said, “The Awami League has snatched people’s right to vote through farcical elections in 2014 and 2018 and wrote a tainted history in the national and international area. It is not possible to hold a participatory and credible election under any government led by the current prime minister.”

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The BNP statement further reads that, “The people of the country have moral support towards peaceful and non-violent programmes. The allegation of a foreign diplomat helping BNP in organising rallies is completely unexpected and unprecedented. Such an unrealistic statement goes against the people's wish to restore democracy as it seems.”

Mentioning Russia as a long-time friend of Bangladesh, the BNP statement further said, “The people of the country expect that Russia will respect the democratic values of the people of the country.”

BNP also expects that no country will blindly support the incumbent government going against the will of the people.