Moscow tries to push ‘sanctioned’ ship inside Bangladesh


Moscow reportedly has been pressuring Dhaka to accept a ship under US sanctions. According to vernacular tabloid daily Manabzamin, for 10 days, the Russian ship Sparta-3 has been waiting in the deep sea (in international waters). It wants to anchor at Mongla seaport in Bangladesh. This ship has carried equipment and materials required for the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), which is being constructed by Russian companies. But Bangladesh Foreign Ministry is unwilling to allow ‘Sparta-3’ to enter country’s seaport as it may place Bangladesh under fresher US sanctions. Under such situation, Russia through an official message has threatened stating if Bangladesh does not allow its ship to enter country’s seaport, it would hamper existing bilateral relations between Dhaka and Moscow. However, within hours of receipt of this note verbal from Russia, Bangladesh MOFA summoned Russian ambassador and made it clear that under no circumstances this sanctioned ship would be accepted, despite the fact that the name and color of the ship has been altered.

Sparta-3 bears IMP certification number 9538892.

On December 20, 2022, Washington notified Dhaka about arrival of a sanctioned Russian ship in the direction of Mongla port in Bangladesh amid exchange of tweets between US and Russian embassies on Bangladesh issues. Bangladesh authorities quickly acted on the message it had received from the US Embassy in Dhaka on December 20 and instructions were passed to authorities concerned in Mongla port to take appropriate measures to return the ship as soon as possible.

Moscow felt unhappy over Dhaka’s decision and immediately exerted pressure for letting the ship anchor at Mongla port. But Dhaka remained rigid on its decision. As a result, Russia had reportedly threatened Bangladesh of deterioration of existing relations if the ship was not allowed to enter Bangladesh maritime area.

Subsequently, Russian ambassador to Bangladesh, Aleksandr Mantytsky went to MOFA on December 22 and held meeting with Real Admiral (Retired) Khurshid Alam, Maritime Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Director General of Central and East Europe desk, S Bodiuzzaman was also present during the meeting.

 It may be mentioned here that, following sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States, movement of Russian flag-carrier vessels have become difficult. In a large number of countries Russian vessels are refused to enter and sent back from the deep-sea area.


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