Western countries disconnected some banks in Russia and Belarus from the Swift Payment Network, an international organization that exchanges financial transactions, to be effective from today. As a result, the banks of Bangladesh will no longer be able to transact directly with the banks of these two countries.
Among the 12 banks in Russia and two banks in Belarus one bank used to transact money over Ruppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. The Russian bank, called Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (VEB), in a message through Swift system a few days ago, asked Bangladesh Bank (BB) to halt transaction with them for the time being. Similar messages have also come to Bangladeshi commercial banks from other banks under the ban.
However, it will not have a big negative impact on the country’s economy, said BB officials. They say about 80 per cent of the goods that Bangladesh exports to Russia are transacted through banks in Singapore and Hong Kong. But we will have to wait to know what will happen to the government project.
The Ruppur project is being implemented with financial and technical assistance from Russia. Commercial power supply through this power plant is scheduled to start on February 17, 2024. Russia is lending Bangladesh Tk 91,000 crore for this project.
Bangabandhu Satellite-2 project is a new project undertaken by Bangladesh government. Bangladesh Satellite Company signed a memorandum of understanding last month with Russian company Glove Cosmos to launch the country’s second artificial satellite ‘Bangabandhu Satellite-2’. Glove Cosmos is a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned space agency Roscosmos.