Russian Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexander Mantytskiy has said they are looking for opportunities to support the countries in the region in terms of energy and food security despite “artificial restrictions” imposed on Russia.
“Russia and IORA Member States not only share civilizational values, but also pursue quite pragmatic interests,” he said.
Russia is one of the world’s top three oil exporters and it ranks first in natural gas reserves and second in gas production, and this year’s grain harvest could reach a record high of 150 million tonnes, including about 100 million tonnes of wheat.
The ambassador said maritime security and combating piracy is an important area of common interests.
Joint exercises with Indian, Chinese and Iranian partners, activities within the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia are aimed at addressing these challenges, he said while speaking at the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers meeting held in Dhaka on 24 November.
“We witness steady growth of the trade turnover. It increased totally by 50 per cent for all IORA Members States last year, and by more than 40 per cent in the first half of this year.
“We are also implementing joint investment projects,” said the Russian envoy.
The launch of a plant producing non-carcinogenic (“green”) technological oils for tires, synthetic rubbers and rubber compounds in Malaysia with the capacity of up to 100,000 tonnes is one recent example.
Mantytskiy said Russian companies participate in major regional energy enterprises - primarily through construction of Rooppur, Kudankulam and Bushehr Nuclear Power Plants in Bangladesh, India and Iran respectively.
The use of nuclear technologies for medical purposes is another promising area, he added.
A cyclotron radiochemical centre for producing isotopes used in disease diagnosis and therapy is under construction in Thailand.
As an IORA dialogue partner, Ambassador Mantytskiy said, Russia pays special attention to environmental protection of the Indian Ocean zone.
“Our government officials and experts participate in the IORA Working Group on Blue Economy,” he said.
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development proposed a research on the existing international mechanisms in the field of sustainable use of ocean resources, with further specific recommendations for the Association Members.