The Western alliance, including the United States, and Russia – both will want to get Bangladesh on their side, but we have to prioritise our own interests. Bangladesh has to take cautious steps that will benefit us more.
Apart from trade interests, there are many other important issues in international relations. A good government-government relationship does not necessarily mean that a country's interests are served. The interest of a country depends on many more things.
The world is now roughly divided into four trade blocs, each led by Russia, China, the European Union and the United States. It is up to Bangladesh to decide which of these is more in Bangladesh's interest. But Bangladesh's trade interests in the US and the EU must be kept intact.
Bangladesh needs to see how much pressure comes from which side and how we can avoid it strategically.
We are trying to maintain a neutral position without going directly to either side. Our foreign minister recently went to the United States and had a meeting there.
Our Prime Minister has also made it clear that we will stand by Russia because it was beside us during our Liberation War. But we will not support anything wrong done by Russia.
But we must also remember that Ukraine, which was a part of the then Soviet Union, was on our side in the 1971 war as well.
I think Ukraine and Russia will reach a ceasefire agreement by the next one month. But the war can be limited to eastern Ukraine. Then, there will be less diplomatic efforts by Russia and the West in the international arena centring this war.
Former Foreign Secretary M Touhid Hossain talked to TBS Special Correspondent Abul Kashem over the phone