Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday, January 15, 2013, his country will loan Bangladesh $1 billion to purchase Russian-made arms and military equipment. Bangladesh is likely to use the money to buy MiG-29SMT fighter jets, upgrade an earlier batch of MiG-29s and purchase BTR-80 armored vehicles and Mi-171 military helicopters, the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Announcement of the loan came during talks between Putin and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheik Hasina in Moscow.
In addition to the arms contract, Russia will also grant a loan worth USD 500 million to Bangladesh for the construction of a nuclear power plant in northwestern Ruppur.
"We will not only provide the most up-to-date technology. ...but also provide financial support for the construction of the nuclear power plant at the initial stage," Putin said.
The head of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said technical and environmental assessments would be carried out this year for the plant, which is to have two 1,000-megawatt reactors and will be completed in the early 2020s.
Energy-starved Bangladesh signed an initial deal with Russian state-owned nuclear agency Rosatom in November, 2011, to build a nuclear plant with two 1,000 megawatt reactors at a cost of upto USD 2 billion each against the backdrop of its dwindling reserve of natural gas.