CORRECTS - Russia-Ukraine war costs Bangladesh $8B

CORRECTS - Russia-Ukraine war costs Bangladesh $8B

Bangladesh among countries that import fuel, food grains from Russia, Ukraine

CHANGES DECK

By SM Najmus Sakib

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Bangladesh spent an additional $8 billion on the import of fuel and food grains due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, an official said on Tuesday.

The South Asian country spent $8.9 billion on the import of petroleum products in the financial year 2021-22, according to the central bank data.

The country annually needs to import about 6.6 million tons of refined and crude petroleum.

Bangladesh is among the countries that import fuel and are partially dependent on some food grains, including wheat, from Russia and Ukraine.

Bangladesh is also facing a dollar crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the pressure on dollar reserves in the central bank.

“Due to the Ukraine-Russia war, Bangladesh has spent $8 billion extra to meet import costs. This additional cost has been incurred due to the increase in the prices of various imported products including fuel,” Bangladesh prime minister's energy adviser, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, said during a webinar organized by Bangladesh Energy Society on Tuesday.

He, however, observed that energy security cannot be ensured depending on a single fuel. Therefore, a decision about coal mining will be made keeping in view the environmental concerns.

He said the government is thinking of meeting a large part of the daily energy demand through solar power.

Other participants said to ensure energy security, emphasis should be placed on domestic coal gas extraction.

The import process in the country is being disrupted due to the dollar crunch in commercial banks.

In May, a letter from the state-run petroleum corporation showed it owed more than $300 million to six foreign companies.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina repeatedly urged the UN and global powers to immediately stop the war as countries like Bangladesh are facing rising inflation, and fuel and food grains crisis.

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