Diplomats and academics at a seminar on Tuesday sought the support of Russia to further accelerate the development of Bangladesh, adding that diplomatic initiatives should be taken to create new fields of collaboration between the two countries.
Bangladesh-Russia Moitree Samity arranged the seminar on ‘Bangladesh-Russia Relations, Tested Friend of the Liberation War and Development Partner: Present Perspective’ at Samson H Chowdhury Auditorium of Dhaka Club in the evening.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque spoke as the chief guest in the seminar and said Russia is providing its support to Bangladesh in three major sectors, namely energy security, trade and defense.
“Russia-Bangladesh relationship has widened after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to Moscow in 2013. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid the foundation of bilateral relations of the two countries immediately after the Bangladesh’s independence,” the foreign secretary said.
He mentioned that the country’s security, especially in the air defence sector, has been strengthened with the support from Russia.
Highlighting the country’s trade and investment potential, he said Bangladesh is looking for a market in Russia for its readymade garment (RMG) sector.
While speaking at the event, former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University (DU) Prof Dr AAMS Arefin Siddique paid rich tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the martyrs who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 Liberation War.
“Many students from different departments, including Nuclear Engineering of Dhaka University, are going to Russia to pursue higher education. Other than that, the two nations are enhancing their intimacy through exchange of sports and culture,” he said.
Prof Arefin, also president of Bangladesh-Russia Moitri Samity, said there is no sculpture of any foreign personality at DU except Russian litterateur Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.
Ambassador of Bangladesh to Russia Saiful Hoque recalled the historical relations of Bangladesh and Russia, and made a power-point presentation on the then Soviet Union’s (USSR) assistance during the Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971.
Minister-Counsellor of Russian Embassy in Dhaka Sergei A Popov and Head of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Dhaka Alexander P Demin, among others, spoke at the seminar.
Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Development) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Prof Dr Md Shahidullah Sikder read out a keynote paper.