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International relations

Bangladesh eyes cheap Russian fuel oil to lower import bills

Dhaka wary of antagonizing West but desperate to ease inflation, forex pressure

Bangladesh, where consumers are feeling the pain at the pump, is looking for cheaper fuel options. (Photo by Shahru Nayef)

DHAKA -- Bangladesh is weighing an offer to import cheap Russian fuel oil despite concerns about antagonizing the West, as the South Asian nation attempts to preserve dwindling foreign currency reserves and shore up its shaky economy.

Dhaka mainly buys oil from Middle Eastern countries under long-term deals between government agencies. But with oil now trading at around $100 a barrel and fuel price hikes creating havoc in Bangladesh, Moscow's terms look mightily appealing. Bangladeshi officials, though, are also cognizant of the global freeze-out of Russia since its invasion of Ukraine six months ago.

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