Dhaka will import crude from "whoever gives us a comfortable price," its prime minister has said
Bangladesh will buy Russian oil if it's offered at an affordable price despite concerns about antagonizing the West as the South Asian country looks to secure energy supplies, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said last week.
Commodity prices, including oil, have surged globally over the past year and Dhaka is struggling to preserve dwindling foreign currency reserves and shore up its shaky economy.
When asked about the possibility of buying Russian oil during the Qatar Economic Forum, Hasina said that if the commodity is offered "at an affordable price, of course we will buy it. Why not?"
She noted that Bangladesh maintains a policy of friendly relations with all countries and would not take sides to isolate Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, adding that the country "will never play a partisan role in the world."
"We are developing our country, we must meet the needs of our people and we must develop the country so that our people have a better life," Hasina explained.
Dhaka buys oil mainly from Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates under long-term deals. But with soaring energy costs and fuel-price hikes in Bangladesh, Russian oil looks appealing and has been purchased by neighbors like India at hefty discounts.
READ MORE: Russia accounts for lion's share of India's oil imports - Reuters
"Wherever [oil] is available and whoever gives us a comfortable price, definitely we will avail of that," Hasina said, adding that Bangladesh was also looking at all other "avenues," including renewable and solar energy.
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