Bangladesh hopes to get Russian technology to set up a nuclear power plant and says Moscow has expressed its willingness to cooperate.
After some tentative moves at the official level, political interventions were made during Foreign Advisor Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury's recent visit to Russia.
"I have had detailed discussions with the Russian deputy minister for energy and industry, Ivan Materver, on possible Russian cooperation in the production of nuclear energy. Russia has responded positively and it can be an important partner in setting up a nuclear power plant," Chowdhury said on Sunday.
"Since Bangladesh is a signatory to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), we are committed to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We will not go for nuclear weapons," he was quoted as saying in New Age Monday.
Asked why the government was attaching importance to Russian cooperation in setting up the nuclear power plant, he replied, "All countries do not like to extend nuclear cooperation. Russia has the appropriate technology for it."
He told media that effective follow-ups would be made to strengthen the political and economic ties between the two countries.
"Since the nuclear power technology is a complex issue, the matter should be discussed at the national level before arriving at a final decision."
"If we want to produce nuclear energy, the time has come to start primary negotiations with our possible partners who might help us in establishing the nuclear plant since it takes a long time for its implementation."
This was Bangladesh's first 'political' contact since the break-up of the Soviet Union and emergence of the Russian Federation.
The USSR had played a key role in helping in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 and had followed up cooperation by de-mining the country's harbours.