‘Russia, Bangladesh trusted and tested friends forever’

A discussion, jointly organised by the Russian House in Dhaka and the Bangladesh-Russia Friendship Society, to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries MondayCollected

Russia and Bangladesh are forever faithful and tested friends, said Pavel Dvoychenkov, director of the Russian House in Dhaka. He also hoped that the cordial and strong relations between the two countries would continue for a long time in the future.

Pavel Dvoychenkov was addressing a discussion, jointly organised by the Russian House in Dhaka and the Bangladesh-Russia Friendship Society, to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries Monday.

Friendly relations between Bangladesh and Russia are contributing to the development of politics, economy, trade, defence, education and culture of both countries, Pavel observed.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq attended the discussion as the chief guest while Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Bangladesh Alexander Mantytsky was the special guest.

Speaking at the programme, Mozammel Huq recalled the contributions of Soviet Russia in the ongoing development of Bangladesh, including the liberation war and post-war reconstruction of Bangladesh.

He said the independence of Bangladesh was never possible without the help of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union provided free training and weapons to freedom fighters in the war of independence and provided food, medicine, construction materials, power plants, fertiliser factories and various development cooperation in the post-war reconstruction of Bangladesh. This continues even today as evidenced by the Rooppur nuclear power project, which is going to be commissioned very soon.

Russian ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Mantytsky said, “Diplomatic relations between Russia and Bangladesh were established in January 1972 following the Soviet Union’s support for the Bengali people in the international arena during the 1971 War of Independence. We have been strengthening our friendly ties and exploring new possible ways of cooperating for more than 50 years. We cherish our historical legacy and look forward to new achievements and shared dreams.”

“Despite the current turmoil in international affairs, Moscow and Dhaka have always engaged in meaningful political dialogue based on mutual respect, similar views on various global and bilateral issues, and a joint commitment to a just multilateral world order.”

He highlighted the significant bilateral relations of 2023, which included the first visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Bangladesh last September. In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina were in the virtual presence of a new nuclear fuel delivery ceremony at Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. In November, the Russian Pacific Fleet squadron, which includes the large anti-submarine ships Admiral Tributes and Admiral Panteleyev, as well as the ocean tanker Pechenga, paid a courtesy visit to the port of Chattogram, he mentioned.

He expressed hope that under the newly elected government, relations between Moscow and Dhaka will be more prosperous, bringing peace and prosperity to the people of both countries.

Pavel Dvoychenkov, director of the Russian House in Dhaka, in his speech also mentioned that after independence a large number of students from Bangladesh went to study in Russia with full government scholarships and they returned home after completing their higher education and became active in the formation of Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla.

Currently, more than 6,000 of the Soviet and Russian graduates are working in high positions in different countries of the world including Bangladesh.

He also said a significant contribution was the Russian House in Dhaka, which was established in March 1974 under an agreement between the Soviet Union and the government of Bangladesh. Russian House organises all kinds of projects that reveal Russia’s potential in humanitarian, educational, cultural and scientific cooperation with Bangladesh.

The interest of Bangladeshi students in taking higher education in Russia is increasing day by day. That is why the Russian government has increased the number of scholarships for Bangladeshi students to 124 in the academic year 2024-2025.

He said that his efforts will continue to increase this number in the future.

Among the distinguished guests who were also present and gave speeches were professor Md. Shahidullah Sikder, general secretary, Bangladesh-Russian Friendship Society, former pro-vice chancellor, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University; Aniruddha Kumar Roy, the honorary consulate of Belarus in Bangladesh; professor AAMS Arefin Siddique, president, Bangladesh-Russia Friendship Society, former vice chancellor, University of Dhaka.

The speakers gratefully recalled the outstanding contribution of Bangladesh in the liberation war and the unforgettable role of Russia in the overall development.

Video presentations of the Russian House in Dhaka on ‘Russia and Bangladesh are trusted and tested friends forever’ and ‘Bangabandhu’s first visit to the USSR’ were also screened at the beginning of the discussion.