Ukraine war, sanctions disrupted supply chains, triggering inflation: Bangladesh premier

Uncertainty about repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar has led to widespread frustration, Sheikh Hasina tells UN General Assembly.

Ukraine war, sanctions disrupted supply chains, triggering inflation: Bangladesh premier

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina joined forces Friday against the use of economic sanctions because she said they do not bring good to any nation.

Hasina blamed the Russia-Ukraine war and subsequent economic sanctions and counter-sanctions for disrupting supply chains that have led to exorbitant price hikes in fuel, food and consumer goods.

“This has brought the economy like ours under tremendous pressure. Inflation has been increased. (And) we are taking various initiatives to overcome this situation,” Hasina told the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

She said Bangladesh believes “antagonism like war or economic sanctions, counter-sanctions can never bring good to any nation”.

“Mutual dialogue is the best way to resolve crises and disputes,” she added.

Russia launched a war against Ukraine in February, forcing millions of Ukrainians to leave their homes, resulting in death and injury to thousands while property and infrastructure worth billions has been destroyed. It has also affected energy supplies as massive sanctions to punish Moscow for the war have restricted the flow of oil and gas supplies from Russia to the world.

On the world’s most persecuted community, the Bangladeshi premier said the prolonged presence of the Rohingya in the South Asian nation “has caused serious ramifications on the economy, environment, security and sociopolitical stability in Bangladesh.”

“Despite our bilateral engagements with Myanmar, discussions with partners in trilateral format and engagements with the UN and other partners, not a single Rohingya was repatriated to their ancestral homes in Myanmar,” she said.

Bangladesh hosts more than 1 million Rohingya who were forced out of their native Myanmar after government forces inflicted inhuman treatment on the community, who are mostly Muslim.

Hasina said political turmoil and armed conflicts in Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority southeast nation, “has made the repatriation of the displaced Rohingyas even more difficult.”

Urging the UN to play an “effective role in the repatriation of the Rohingya, Hasina said: “Uncertainty over repatriation has led to widespread frustration.”

“Cross border organized crimes including human and drug trafficking are on the rise,” she said. “This situation can potentially fuel radicalization. If the problem persists further, it may affect the security and stability of the entire region, and beyond.”

Hüseyin Demir