N-PLANT, DEFENCE PURCHASE
Deals signed with RussiaDiplomatic correspondent
Bangladesh and Russia on Tuesday signed three vital agreements on financing the long-awaited Rooppur nuclear power plant and purchase of $1 billion defence equipment, redefining their bilateral ties after 40 years.
The two countries also penned six memorandums of understanding on cooperation in education, health, agriculture, culture, law and justice and counter-terrorism.
The deals were inked in presence of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and Russian president Vladimir Putin after the official talks at Kremlin.
Russia, the world’s second-largest weapons exporter, has granted a $1 billion loan to Bangladesh for arms purchases, Putin said after talks with Sheikh Hasina.
The Russian president said Dhaka and Moscow intended to broaden military-technical cooperation.
It was not specified what weapons or military equipment Bangladesh would buy from Russia.
Russia will provide a separate $500 million loan to Bangladesh to help build its first nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna.
‘We will not only provide the most up-to-date technology ... but also provide financial support for the construction of the nuclear power plant at the initial stage,’ Putin was quoted by Reuters as having said.
The head of Rosatom, Russian state atomic energy corporation, Sergei Kiriyenko, said technical and environmental assessments would be carried out this year for the plant, which is to have two 1,000-megawatt reactors and be completed in the early 2020s.
He told reporters more loans would be required at later stages.
Russian deputy finance minister Sergey Storchak and Bangladesh economic relations division secretary Abul Kalam Azad signed the agreement on the Extension of State Export Credit for financing the preparatory stage work of the nuclear power plant in Rooppur in Pabna and the Extension of a State Export Credit to the Bangladesh government.
State minister for science and technology Yeafesh Osman and Rosatom general director SV Kirienko penned the deal on the establishment of a nuclear industry information center in Bangladesh between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre of Bangladesh and the Nuclear Industry Information Centre, an autonomous non-profit organisation of the Russian Federation.
Foreign minister Dipu Moni and her Russian counterpart Segey Lavrov inked the MoU on the cooperation in counter-terrorism.
The MoUs on cooperation in the fields of public health and medical science, agriculture, education, culture, law, justice and parliamentary affairs were signed by foreign minister Dipu Moni and Russian health minister Veronika Igorevna Skvortsova, agriculture minister Nikoly Vasilyevich Fyodorov, education minister Dmitry Viktorovich Livanov, cultural minister Valdimir Rostislavovich Medinsky and justice minister Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov.
Later, Russian minister for communication and mass media Nikolay Nikiforov called on Sheikh Hasina at her hotel suite when the prime minister sought more Russian investments in Bangladesh for expansion of ICT in the rural areas with high internet speed and increased bandwidth capacity.
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