Message from Ambassador on Day of Russia, June 12, 2016
MESSAGE FROM AMBASSADOR
(Published in the Financial Express newspaper on June 12, 2016)
Our National Day – the Day of Russia, which falls on June 12, has been celebrated for two and a half decades now. It marks the establishment of a new Russian Federation - after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 and incarnates the belief in its bright future. Despite unavoidable and sometimes painful transformations, our nation proved its ability to respond to any challenge. Russia has strengthened its territorial integrity, built partnership with key global players, mobilized domestic and attracted foreign investments, increased internal production, modernized the armed forces and finally re-established itself as a major power that has its say in global affairs.
Speaking about Russia's role in today’s world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov once cited Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin who said that the greatness of a country is not determined by the size of its territory or the number of its inhabitants, but by the capacity of its people and its government to take on the burden of world problems and to deal with them in a creative manner. From this perspective, Russia plays an important role in the contemporary world.
Russia pursuits durable international peace and security. The maintenance and strengthening of the international rule of law is among its priorities in the international arena.
While celebrating the Day of Russia, we note with pride that, from historical respective, Russia and Bangladesh are the friends indeed. Our close ties date back to 1971 when the then Soviet Union upheld the rightful struggle of the Bengali people for independence. At that time we wrote our first common page in history of which we are proud today. Moscow raised its voice in the international arena criticizing the gruesome atrocities against Bengali people who had been fighting for their rights. It was the manifestation of deep and sincere sentiments of the Soviet people in support for national liberation movements all over the globe, including Bangladesh.
Over the last years, the ties between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of Bangladesh have grown stronger. The 2013 historic visit of H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, to Russia gave fresh impetus to the Russia-Bangladesh relations. During this landmark visit a set of important documents were signed: three G-to-G agreements on credit cooperation and six MOUs covering cooperation in nuclear energy, weapons supply, agriculture, education, health, culture, justice and counter-terrorism.
At present, our countries maintain regular contacts on the highest and high levels. Russia and Bangladesh hold close or similar positions on numerous international and regional issues such as global security, counter-terrorism, sustainable development, etc. Moscow sees Dhaka as a time-tested partner in promoting principles of multipolar global architecture and a fair international economic and financial system.
Economic basis of our cooperation is getting stronger and stronger. Bilateral trade relations show constant growth. In 2015 alone the trade volume reached USD 1,447 billion which is a 60% increase over the previous year.
A number of joint projects are underway relating to construction of the first Bangladeshi “Rooppur” Nuclear Power Plant, gas exploration (by Gazprom International), modernizing the Ghorasal Power Plant (by “Inter RAO-Engineering”), etc.
Business ties between our two countries are developing rapidly, supported by the establishment in 2014 of Bangladesh-CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
We see bright future for Russia-Bangladesh in the high-tech field. Our country is building an advanced nuclear power plant here which will usher in a new stage of our cooperation. The Russian Federation will provide Bangladesh with all required technical, technological and financial support during preconstruction, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. It is with Russia's assistance that Bangladesh will enter a nuclear era.
We have also experienced visible development in the area of Information Technology. Kaspersky Lab being a pioneer in cyber security is a popular name in Bangladesh. Since 2008, it has collaborated with the local distributor creating awareness and wide use for digital security software and solutions.
Military-technical cooperation between Russia and Bangladesh is developing rapidly.
Our country has rich, centuries-old educational traditions and it is famous for training top-level specialists in all spheres. Since the Soviet times, our country has been inviting Bangladeshi students to study in Russia. Over five thousand students from Bangladesh have graduated from Soviet/ Russian universities so far. Most of them made successful careers back in Bangladesh and used their skills and knowledge for the benefit of their Motherland. The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation allocated 50 full-paid scholarships for Bangladeshi students in 2016, with 20 of them in nuclear science.
Cultural cooperation between our nations has deep roots. Few people know, for example, that the first European theatre in Bengal was established by Gerasim Lebedev, Russian adventurer, linguist, writer, translator and musician, in Calcutta back in 1795.
The Days of Russian Culture in Bangladesh were held in Bangladesh on November 21-26, 2014. And a year later, on September 11-17, 2015, the Days of Bangladeshi Culture in Russia were observed. Russian people in Moscow and St. Petersburg got a unique opportunity to enjoy Bangladeshi dances, songs, instrumental performances and a photography exhibition titled Beautiful Bangladesh. This festival gathered mass interest in Russia and received positive responses. We stand ready to enhance cultural cooperation between our two countries.
There is no doubt that in the years ahead friendship and partnership of Russia and Bangladesh has all the prerequisites to thrive and blossom in the interests of security and prosperity of our nations and the world at large.
Joy Russia! Joy Bangladesh!
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to
the People’s Republic of Bangladesh