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    Russian ship returning without offloading nuclear plant equipment in Bangladesh

    January 19, 2023 - BBC Newsfile


      By BBC Monitoring

      A Russian ship carrying equipment for Bangladesh's Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is now heading back to Russia instead of offloading at Haldia Port in India's West Bengal state, as it was supposed to do, The Daily Star newspaper reported.

      While terming it "a setback" to the progress of the country's first nuclear power plant, the news report said, citing a foreign ministry official, that the Russian embassy in Dhaka has informed that the ship is moving back to Russia without being able to offload at Haldia Port.

      As per the report, the Russian ship, that was supposed to reach Bangladesh's Mongla Port for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant on 24 December, was stopped after US embassy in Dhaka raised concern saying the vessel faced US sanctions.

      After confirming the matter, Bangladesh authorities refused to let the ship anchor at Mongla Port and asked the shipping agent to get the ship offload the materials at Haldia Port and then bring the equipment to Rooppur by waterway or road, the report added.

      The report further said, citing foreign ministry official, that the reason why the ship returned could be because "the agent could not negotiate with Haldia Port authorities or there was pressure from the US side on India".

      The Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project's construction cost amounts to $12.65bn, and 90% of it is being funded by Russia, according to media reports.

      See also: Briefing: Russia's energy assistance for Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

      Source: The Daily Star website, Dhaka, in English 1000 gmt 19 Jan 23


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