DHAKA, Jan 25 (Asia Free Press): Russian Foreign Ministry, on Tuesday greeted Bangladesh as Dhaka and Moscow marked 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations on January 25, according to local media.
“Congratulations to our Bangladeshi friends on this milestone anniversary of our relations,” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, according to a press release issued by the Russian embassy.
“Our countries have long been bound by friendly ties, the foundation of which was laid back in 1972, when the (then) USSR supported the national liberation struggle of the people of Bangladesh and was among the first countries to recognise the independence of the new state,” the spokesperson said.
Zakharova said Bangladeshis remember the feat of Soviet military sailors, who cleared the waters of the port of Chittagong from mines and sunken ships in 1972-1974.
“Today, our countries maintain an active political dialogue, which is built on the principles of equality and mutual respect,” the spokesperson Zakharova claimed.
Currently, the spokesperson said, Bangladesh is Russia’s major trading partner in South Asia, with bilateral trade exceeding $2.5 billion a year.
“The mechanism of the Intergovernmental Russian-Bangladesh Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, established in 2017, functions well,” Zakharova observed.
The spokesperson lastly added, major economic projects are underway, including the construction of Rooppur, Bangladesh’s first nuclear power plant.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 25 January 1972. The recognition of Bangladesh by the Soviet Union made direct bilateral political dialogue possible. In March 1972, the founder and the first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, paid a first visit to Moscow, where he met with Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Nikolai Podgorny, Chairman of the Council of Ministers Alexei Kosygin, and other officials. During the trip Sheikh Mujeeb had signed so many treaties, which were officially engaged the countries into bilateral relations. Some of the treaties signed then are still in force.