A Russian naval fleet has called at the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh for the first time in almost half a century, reported Russian government news agency TASS on Sunday.
The Pacific Fleet’s naval group comprises the large anti-submarine warfare ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Panteleyev and the oceanic tanker Pechenga. The combat ships are moored at Chittagong port, considered Bangladesh’s main sea harbour.
Confirming the arrival of the Russian naval fleet, Chattogram Port Authority secretary Md Omar Faruk said that it was a friendly visit from Russia to Bangladesh.
Naval ships from Turkey and France also came recently on such friendly visits, he said.
The naval fleet came around 10 months after the Bangladesh government in January instructed the authorities concerned not to allow any of the 69 mother vessels of seven Russian companies sanctioned by the United States to enter the country’s ports.
The Mercantile Marine Office, Chattogram, issued a circular to this effect on January 16, mentioning the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) ship identification numbers so that they were not allowed to avail of any services, including certification, renewal, refuelling, and insurance, in Bangladesh territory.
The Russian Pacific Fleet Squadron is visiting the Chattogram Port, which is a huge milestone for Russia-Bangladesh relations. The last time Russian/Soviet naval ships visited Bangladeshi ports was 50 years ago.
The Russian embassy in Bangladesh shared a related story on its verified Facebook page.
Ashik Imran, the Russian honorary consul in Chattogram, told TAAS that Russian naval sailors this time had called at the port solely on a friendly visit.
‘This is evidence that the relations between the two states are currently at a very high level,’ the Russian state media quoted Imran as saying.