Bangladesh–Russia relations

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Bangladesh–Russia Relations relations
Map indicating locations of Bangladesh and Russia


Dr. Saiful HaqoueAlexander l. Ignatov
2013 Russia-Bangladesh summit

Bangladesh–Russia relations (Russian: Российско-бангладешские отношения) refers to foreign relations between Bangladesh and Russia. Russia has an embassy in Dhaka and a consulate-general in Chittagong, while Bangladesh has an embassy in Moscow. Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Bangladesh were established on January 25, 1972.[1] These relations have continued with Russia being the successor state to the Soviet Union.

Soviet-Bangladeshi relations[edit]

The Soviet Union had been a strong supporter of the Bengali freedom fighters[citation needed] during the Bangladesh Liberation War and provided extensive aid, recognising that Bangladesh's independence would weaken the position of its rivals – the United States and China.[2] In November 1971, the Soviet ambassador to Pakistan, Alexei Rodionov, directed a secretive message (Rodionov message) that ultimately warned Pakistan that "it will be embarking on a suicidal course if it escalates tensions in the subcontinent.[3]:part-3 On 6 and 13 December, the Soviet Navy dispatched two groups of cruisers and destroyers, armed with nuclear missiles from Vladivostok, to trail the United States' Task Force 74 in the Indian Ocean from 18 December until 7 January 1972.[4][5][6] The Soviets also had a Ballistic missile submarine to ward off the threat posed by the USS Enterprise task force in the Indian Ocean.[7][8][9][10]

Relations with the Soviet Union were cordial in the years immediately following independence. The Soviet Union supported Indian actions in aiding the war of independence, and after the war the Soviet Navy sent a floating workshop to Bangladesh for clearing Pakistani mines from the Chittagong and Chalna harbours.[11] After independence, the newly formed Bangladesh Air Force received a significant donation from the Soviet Union. Among the aircraft delivered were ten single-seat Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MFs and two twin-seat Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21UMs.[12] In March 1972, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman visited Moscow, in part to thank the Soviet state for their support for Bangladeshi liberation movement in 1971.[13][14][15]

After the 1975 coup in Bangladesh, relations with the Soviet Union rapidly cooled. The military regimes of Zia and Ershad deemphasized socialist policies and vied for closer ties with the United States, Arab states, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China—all of which were politically distant from the Soviet Union. Bangladesh condemned Soviet support for Vietnamese military intervention in Cambodia, and Bangladesh also strongly opposed the 1979 Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan along with other Western and Islamic nations. In 1989, the Soviet Union ranked 14th among aid donors to Bangladesh. The Soviets focused on the development of electrical power, natural gas and oil, and maintained active cultural relations with Bangladesh. They financed the Ghorasal thermal power station, the largest in Bangladesh. A low point in Bangladeshi-Soviet relations came after the expulsion of nine Soviet diplomats from Dhaka in December 1983 and January 1984 by the unpopular military regime of General Ershad.[16]

Russian-Bangladeshi relations[edit]

State visits[edit]

In 2009, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited St. Petersburg and met Russian President Vladimir Putin.[17] In January 2013, Sheikh Hasina again met Russian President Putin in Moscow.[18]

Energy cooperation[edit]

In 2012, the two countries signed two key Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) which would further facilitate collaboration between the two countries in developing the nuclear power sector in Bangladesh.[19]

Defence cooperation[edit]

Russia has conducted an military sales effort in Bangladesh and has succeeded with a $124 million deal for eight MIG-29 fighter jets.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Overview of the Russian-Bangladeshi Relations". Embassy of the Russian Federation in Bangladesh. Archived from the original on 2013-03-24. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
  2. ^ "Bilateral Talks between Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni and Russian Foreign Minister Mr. Sergey Lavrov". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bangladesh). Archived from the original on April 7, 2013.
  3. ^ Service, British Broadcasting Corporation Monitoring (1971). Summary of World Broadcasts: Far East. London, UK: Monitoring Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  4. ^ Anna Orton (2010). India's Borderland Disputes: China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Epitome Books. p. 116. ISBN 978-93-80297-15-6.
  5. ^ Matthew White (2011). Atrocitology: Humanity's 100 Deadliest Achievements. Canongate Books. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-85786-125-2.
  6. ^ Dexter Filkins (27 September 2013). "Collateral Damage:'The Blood Telegram,' by Gary J. Bass". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Cold war games". Bharat Rakshak. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2009.
  8. ^ "Birth of a nation". The Indian Express. 11 December 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  9. ^ "That same fleet but new face". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  10. ^ "December 1971: When The US Sent Its Naval Ships into Bay of Bengal, And USSR Responded". Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  11. ^ "1971 War: How Russia sank Nixon's gunboat diplomacy". Russia and India Report. Russia Beyond the Headlines. December 20, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  12. ^ Goossens, Stefan. "Bangladesh Air Force". Scrmable. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  13. ^ "Mujib visits Moscow". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. March 1, 1972. p. 6.
  14. ^ "PM in Russia: A Shift in Foreign Policy?". Dhaka Courier. January 27, 2013. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016 – via HighBeam Research.
  15. ^ Choudhury, G. W. (July 1972). "Moscow's Influence in the Indian Subcontinent". The World Today. Royal Institute of International Affairs. 28 (7): 304–311. JSTOR 40394640.
  16. ^ Feroze, Shahriar (December 21, 2014). "Intellectually Moscow". The Daily Star. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  17. ^ "Bangladesh-Russia relations : New openings & challenges". Roundtable. The Daily Star. March 2, 2013.
  18. ^ "Agreements between Russia and Bangladesh promote bilateral relations". Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  19. ^ "Welcome to MOFA Website". Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  20. ^ "BD decides to get rid of MiG-29s". Dawn. Karachi. July 22, 2002. Retrieved August 21, 2015.

External links[edit]