Planning Minister MA Mannan on Wednesday said Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will not be affected directly by the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war as the project is being implemented completely under a bilateral agreement with Moscow.
"Equipment, manpower and finance (for the project) are coming through a single channel. No third party is involved here. So, the project will witness no direct impact," he said while briefing reporters after the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC).
NEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting, joining it from her official residence Ganabhaban. Other NEC members including ministers and secretaries attended the meeting from the NEC Conference Room and the Cabinet Division's Conference Room.
Replying to a question, whether the meeting discussed the war and its impacts on Rooppur plant being built by Russia, the planning minister said Bangladesh is against any war. "The prime minister has clearly said we are a peace-loving country. We want peace," he added.
Though they are fighting, both the countries are the friends of Bangladesh, he said.
"Ukraine is our friend. And Russia has been our friend for a long time. We always recognise the Russian role in our Liberation War.
We had been able to achieve independence despite having many barriers due to their bold role," he added.
Mannan said if there is fire, its heat must be felt. "But the matter that needs to be considered is whether the heat is burning us or our body hair. I still think that as of now we've not reached that stage," he said.
Noting that Rooppur Power Plant is being implemented completely under a bilateral agreement, he said, its equipment, machineries and manpower were brought through airway even during the Covid-19 lockdown in the world.
"So, there is no reason that these things can't be brought now. The project still doesn't get the touch of such wind (impact of the war)," said the minister.
He said if the war lasts long in Ukraine, the experts and scholarly persons may assess whether there would be any by-product impact of the war on the project.
War leaves no impact on economy yet
In reply to another question over the impact of war on the economy of Bangladesh, he said the economy still doesn't see the impact of the war as well.
"As per my observation, still there is no impact of the war here in our country. But I can't say about tomorrow. As of now, I'm not seeing it. Of course, there is the heat of the Ukraine war. But our economy doesn't feel it adversely right now," said Mannan.