Lift sanctions against Russia

PM urges the West saying it’s needed to stop sufferings of millions across the globe

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the Western countries to lift the sanctions on Russia, saying that millions of people across the world were suffering as the sanctions impacted global supply chains and increased prices food and other commodities.

Because of the US-led sanctions, food prices are skyrocketing and people are suffering everywhere.

"Punishing the people of the world while trying to punish one country is tantamount to human rights violation. This is why I think it is imperative that the US step away from this. I think everybody will want this," she said while inaugurating a new building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka, reports BSS.

The comments come at a time when people in Bangladesh are bearing the brunt of rising food, fuel and fertiliser prices and the government is being forced to take austerity measures that include limiting fuel use and electricity generation.

In late February, the Russia-Ukraine war started, bringing more miseries to the world still reeling from the pandemic.  

The Western nations led by the US have frozen about $400 billion of Russian central bank's assets and at least $240 billion belonging to oligarchs. However, Moscow has roughly $300 billion in foreign currency and gold reserves, and the ruble has now hit a seven-year high against the dollar.

The UN has warned that Russia's war in Ukraine could push up to 49 million people into famine or famine-like conditions because of its devastating impact on global food supply and prices.

According, global inflation may reach 7.9 percent in 2022. The average annual global inflation between 2001 and 2019 was 3.8 percent.

Hasina said the US-imposed sanctions have reduced the availability of goods, including those imported by Bangladesh, while the shipping costs have gone up. Not only in Bangladesh, but people in the US, Europe, the UK and the rest of the world are also affected by the sanctions.

People in developing and developed countries are affected by the restrictions, and the US should understand this, she said, questioning if sanctions were effective at all in hurting a particular country.

"The developed countries should think about it."

She said the Ukraine war and sanctions came just when Bangladesh was recovering from the shock of the pandemic. "This has become a great challenge for Bangladesh to overcome."

The war should not affect shipping of goods from one country to another and international trade must be uninterrupted, she said.

Bangladesh is trying to increase food production. "But to boost food production, we need fertiliser, diesel and other related materials. We are not getting those."

The PM then urged the international community to play a more active role in Rohingya repatriation.

"Rohingyas are a massive burden for us. All the countries are facing difficulties due to the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war."


Bangladesh Ambassador to Poland Sultana Laila Hossain and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki were honoured with "Bangabandhu Medal for Diplomatic Excellence" for their contributions to diplomacy.

Sultana played an important role in dealing with the exodus of hundreds of Bangladeshis as the Russia-Ukraine war broke out.

Anirban Niogi, former counsellor of Bangladesh embassy in Poland, was given a certificate in recognition of his contribution.

Naoki was honoured for playing an important role in boosting bilateral relationship between Japan and Bangladesh. He joined the event virtually from Osaka.