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September 30, 2023

India may transport Russian Oil to Bangladesh

India is looking into the potential of becoming a transit nation for the delivery of Russian oil and gas to Bangladesh after Turkey offered to take on the role of such a nation for India’s neighbour.

Turkish energy supplies to Bangladesh have indicated interest in using Turkey as a transit state, but ET has learned that India is looking into ways to help with transit given its proximity to Bangladesh and close political connections.

Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan stated on Wednesday in Dhaka that Turkey would be “happy to support Bangladesh by becoming a transit country for Russian energy supplies, which Bangladesh needs to address fuel shortages. It happens at a time when Turkey wants to expand its influence in Bangladesh and India.

It comes as Turkey is eyeing to increase its influence in Bangladesh and India has been monitoring the trajectory of Turkey-Bangladesh ties over the past few years.

Russia and Bangladesh’s energy cooperation would take precedence when visiting Dhaka next week for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) council of ministers conference, according to Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia. To satisfy its expanding energy and power sector demands, Bangladesh has been considering purchasing inexpensive Russian oil. Along with India, Sri Lanka has bought fossil fuel from Russia in South Asia due to its economic crises.

In addition to purchasing Russian oil at a reduced price, the Bangladeshi government would work to reduce export taxes to Russia, secure a supply of food grains, and expedite the construction of the Rooppur nuclear power station, officials from Dhaka told ET. This facility is being built by Russia, and India is funding the project.

Besides attending the meeting of the IORA, Lavrov will hold discussions with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and foreign minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka. There are reports that Bangladesh will also seek Russia’s assistance in the Rohingya issue given the fact that the leader of the Myanmar junta has close ties with Russia.

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