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Bangabandhu was a ‘true friend’ of Russia, says Foreign Minister Lavrov

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-03-19 23:56:58 BdST


Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has hailed Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a ‘true friend’ of Russia.

“Russia remembers Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as an outstanding political figure and a devoted fighter for the freedom and happiness of his people and the true friend of our country,” he said in a video message.

The message was broadcast at a programme in Dhaka on Friday to celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and the golden jubilee of Bangladesh.

Lavrov said Bangabandhu was the first ever top ranking Bangladeshi official to pay an official visit to Moscow in March 1972, less than two months after the diplomatic recognition of the state of by then the Soviet Union.

It was then the “foundation for bilateral relations built in the principle of equality, mutual respect, and consideration of each other’s interest was laid symbolically”, the Russian foreign minister said.

He said the people of Bangladesh paid the high price for their right to determine its own destiny. “Our country offered Bangladesh considerable political support and contributed to its war-torn economy restoration efforts,” Lavrov said.

He recalled that the 12th special company of USSR Navy was dispatched to Bangladesh to perform mine and shipwreck clearance of the port of Chittagong at the request of the government of Bangladesh in April 1972.

He also welcomed the “considerable success” made by Bangladesh over the years since its independence.

 “Your country is steadily pursuing its path towards progress and gradual development and enjoys a strong reputation in the international community. That actively engages in addressing current global challenges including fight against poverty and climate change,” Lavrov said.

Describing Bangladesh as Russia’s “important economic partner in south Asia”, he said,

the turnover between the two states soared nearly 15 percent, exceeding the all-time record mark of $2.4 billion last year despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“Russia is ready to continue bilateral political dialogue and mutually beneficial practical cooperation. I am convinced that the existing ties of friendship will draw stronger for the benefit of our citizens,” he added.