May 31, 2022
DHAKA – Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh is not taking oil from Russia in fear of sanctions.
“India is trying to resolve the energy issue. Russia offered energy and wheat to Bangladesh. But we cannot do the same in fear of sanctions,” Momen said.
Momen said this to reporters at the foreign ministry in Dhaka today (May 30, 2022) upon his return from the river conference in Assam, India.
He held a meeting with the Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Guwahati on the sideline of the international river conference on May 28-29, where ministers, officials, and experts from South and Southeast Asian countries participated.
When the whole world was struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic that rattled economies, health and supply chains, there came a new war with Russia invading Ukraine and it continues, he said.
In the wake of a sharp rise in commodities’ prices, including vital supplies of energy and food from Russia and Ukraine, countries like Bangladesh are facing huge challenges.
Referring to his meeting with Jaishankar, he said he wanted to know from the Indian minister how they managed to import energy from Russia.
“They [India] did it technically. We want suggestions from India…they are a big country, they can manage. We are a small country, there is more pressure on us,” he said.
Momen also discussed with Jaishankar the Indian restrictions on wheat export. Jaishankar said the restrictions are not applicable for Bangladesh. Even, private sector can import wheat from India if it is not for a third country.
The two foreign ministers discussed ways of boosting regional cooperation in the wake of global geopolitical changes, especially in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war that is affecting the economies and supply chains.