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Govt will take necessary steps on financial transactions involving Russian projects: Foreign Secy

The government will take necessary steps, specifically on financial transactions involving Russian projects though, as of now, it seems okay, the foreign secretary has said.

“Things depend on the situation. The situation may turn complicated if there are more sanctions on (Russian) banks or SWIFT, or the big companies,” Masud Bin Momen told reporters at the foreign ministry on Friday.

The US, UK, European Union and G7 countries already imposed harsh sanctions against many Russian banks and oligarchs since Moscow’s attacks on Ukraine.

Global payments messaging network SWIFT, meanwhile, asked Bangladesh’s banks to suspend transactions with seven Russian lenders.

Asked whether the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project will be affected, Masud Momen said it is not clear yet as the sanctions now see initial days.

“We have discussed the impacts. We held meeting with the stakeholders Thursday. We will hold more meetings to assess the impacts,” he said.

The FS said the government is also assessing the possible impacts on the exports and imports, the projects where Russia is involved.

“We will soon determine the necessary measures. At this moment, we are not facing any problem. Everything will depend on the situation in the coming days.”

Masud said the Russian side is still trying to ascertain who is responsible for the rocket attack on Bangladeshi ship ‘Banglar Samriddhi’ stranded at a port in war-torn Ukraine.

“They have also expressed their deep condolences over the death of a Bangladeshi sailor in the attack. They claimed that they didn’t do it,” he said.

However, it is very difficult to ascertain who is doing what from where and which side in a ‘Fog of War’, he added.

But the Russian side has assured Bangladesh of informing Dhaka on what exactly happened.

Masud also said efforts are underway to bring 28 crew of Bangladeshi ship “Banglar Samriddhi” to Romania from war-ravaged Ukraine.

Asked whether there is any communication with the Ukrainian side, he said Ukraine’s priorities are different now.

“They are now more engaged in saving the territory. So it may not be possible for them to answer all our questions.”

Masud said around 600 Bangladeshis safely left Ukraine and are now in Poland while there are 100 Bangladeshis staying in Ukraine.

“However, many of them may have families in Ukraine or have Ukrainian spouses. So, they may not be at risk,” he added.

There are some pockets where a few Indians are staying, Bangladesh came to know.

Bangladesh has also requested the Indian Mission in Ukraine to help the two or four Bangladeshis if they are there, said the foreign secretary.

Stating that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is a matter of concern for the whole world, he said fuel prices have increased the most in ten years in the last few days.

“There will be huge pressure on oil, gas and fuel. Inflation is going on the rise in many European countries at the moment. So everyone is still worried about it,” he said, adding that war is not desirable for anyone.

Source: United News of Bangladesh