Bangladesh is now one step closer to joining the elite club of nuclear energy-producing countries.

In a significant step towards fulfilling its nuclear power ambitions, Bangladesh recently received a historic shipment of uranium fuel from Russia for its first nuclear power plant in Rooppur.

This milestone brings the South Asian nation a step closer to becoming the 33rd country in the world to produce nuclear power. However, challenges and international politics have also marked the journey to this achievement.

US Sanctions and Bangladesh’s Resilience

Bangladesh’s road to nuclear power has been fraught with obstacles, primarily stemming from the United States sanctions on key Russian firms, including the state nuclear agency Rosatom, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

These sanctions affected Dhaka’s ability to make loan repayments in US dollars, leading to delays in the construction of the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

In a daring move, Bangladesh decided to make payments exceeding $300 million in Chinese currency in April to circumvent the US sanctions, allowing the project to continue. This demonstrated the country’s determination to achieve energy security and reduce carbon emissions.

The Virtual Handover Ceremony

On October 5, a virtual ceremony took place, attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. President Putin reaffirmed the strong ties between the two nations during the event, describing Bangladesh as a “long-term friend and partner.”