US-Russia diplomatic row over polls: Dhaka to avoid superpowers entanglement


Staff Reporter  :
Moscow cautioned against potential US discontent with the outcome of the vote, expressing concerns over potential efforts to destabilise Bangladesh akin to the “Arab Spring,” while Dhaka seeks to avoid being entangled in superpower tensions.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a statement on Friday said, “There are serious reasons to fear that in the coming weeks, an even broader arsenal of pressure tactics, including sanctions, may be used against the Bangladesh government, which is unfavourable to the West.”

“In the event of US dissatisfaction with the results of the people’s vote, attempts at further destabilisation of the situation in Bangladesh along the lines of the Arab Spring are likely,” she further said.

Drawing attention to Russian statement on US stance over Bangladesh relating to election, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh AK Abdul Momen said, “We don’t want to be dragged in any problem” amid the tensions of the superpowers.

“We don’t think that there is any scope for it (Arab Spring) here. We are a democratic country.

The democracy has been consolidated by Sheikh Hasina. We will hold January 7 election,” he said while speaking to the journalists after a seminar on the achievements of Bangladesh at the Foreign Service Academy in the capital on Sunday. The Foreign Minister said, “What Russia has said is not our issue.


It’s their concern. Many may express various opinions, but we do not want to comment on it. We adhere to a non-aligned, independent foreign policy.”

The Russian Spokesperson in the statement said, “Key industries and a number of officials, who will be baselessly accused of obstructing the democratic expression of citizens in the upcoming parliamentary elections on January 7, 2024, could be targeted.”

“There is little chance that Washington will reconsider and refrain from another crude intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

However, we are confident that despite all the machinations of external forces, the friendly people of this country will ultimately decide the issue of power in Bangladesh, and no one else,” Zakharova said.

The US and Moscow’s counter statement over Bangladesh is nothing new rather both countries have talked about the elections of Bangladesh.

Zakharova on 22 November had claimed that US Ambassador Peter Haas had been meeting with opposition political parties in order to discuss anti-government rallies. The US Ambassador Haas, however, binned the claims.