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January 23, 2013

Bangladesh Signs Large Arms Deal with Russia

January 19, 2013

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 15.  Following the meeting, Putin announced that Russia would provide Bangladesh with a $1 billion credit to purchase Russian made armaments and military technology.

The military purchase will reportedly include transport helicopters, armored vehicles, air defense systems and infantry weapons.  Bangladesh reportedly declined an offer to acquire Russian Mig-29 fighter jets due to their high cost.  Russia’s decision to provide Bangladesh with a $1 billion credit for military purchases is likely an effort to gain access to recently-discovered offshore gas deposits in Bangladesh.  Moscow is likely eyeing those natural resources for future exploitation and views it as insurance that Bangladesh will be able to repay the credit line.

Bangladesh has recently moved to expand its military capabilities, and the agreement follows an earlier deal for the country to purchase tanks from China.

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