The Government of Bangladesh approved on Wednesday the purchase of 500,000 tons of wheat from Russia for some 210 million dollars, in the first significant trade between the two countries after the invasion of Ukraine, while It is proposed to import Russian oil among a series of energy austerity measures.
The Asian nation will disburse about 430 dollars per ton of wheat at the proposal of the Ministry of Food, said the deputy secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers, Abdul Barik, during a press conference.
Bangladesh imports part of the five million tons of wheat it requires annually, with Russia and Ukraine being the main suppliers.
The wheat purchase was announced on the same day that Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, stated during another press conference that the country will seek to import Russian oil without attracting the wrath of the United States. Joined.
“According to my conversation with the US deputy secretary of state (Jose Fernandez), the import of Russian fuels will not attract US sanctions,” Chowdhury said.
The Bangladeshi authorities raised oil prices by 50% at the beginning of last August with the aim of limiting fuel use, given the Government’s difficulties in paying the high prices.
The Executive also approved a series of austerity measures to reduce energy consumption, such as temporary closures of all power plants that run on diesel or the imposition of mandatory weekly vacations on the country’s industrial sector.
In recent months, Bangladesh’s inflation has spiked to 7.56% last June, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, up from 5.64% in the same period last year and the highest since 2014, which added a strong devaluation against the dollar of the national currency, the taka.
The country confirmed at the end of July that it requested a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and although the Government did not reveal the amount of the loan, it is estimated that they requested 4,500 million dollars to alleviate the pressure on the balance of payments of the country in full shortage of foreign exchange reserves.