Bangladesh to try ‘alternative measures’ for Russia trade amid sanctions

DHAKA: The Bangladeshi government was likely to continue trade with Moscow, experts said on Friday, after Dhaka’s announcement that it would try “alternative measures” in the face of international sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is one of Bangladesh’s main trading partners and its biggest supplier of wheat and fertilizer. It also has a major presence in the country’s energy sector, and is developing its first nuclear power plant, at Rooppur.

Russia’s multipronged assault on Ukrainian territory, which began on Feb. 24, has been followed by a host of measures to cut Moscow off from the world’s financial arteries, including banning some of its banks from the Swift payment system that is key for the transaction of money worldwide.

Bangladeshi Finance Minister Mustafa Kamal told reporters on Thursday that while Dhaka wanted the war to stop, it would “have to take alternative measures through currency swap” if it was not able to pay Russia due to the Swift ban.

In a currency swap, countries exchange their local currency against any third currency, except the US dollar.