Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday said his country remembers Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as an "outstanding political figure, a devoted fighter" for the freedom and happiness of his people and a true friend of Russia.
He said Bangladesh is Russia's important economic partner in South Asia.
"Russia is ready to continue bilateral political dialogue and mutually beneficial practical cooperation," Minister Lavrov said in a video message to the citizens of Bangladesh on the occasion of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the 50th anniversary of independence of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa also spoke at the event at the National Parade Ground in the city.
Minister Lavrov said he is convinced that the existing ties of friendship will grow stronger for the benefit of two countries' citizens.
He said Bangabandhu was the first-ever Bangladeshi top-ranking official to pay an official visit to Moscow in March 1972, less than two months after the diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh by the then Soviet Union.
It was then that the foundation for bilateral relations building on the principles of equality, mutual respect and consideration of each other's interests was laid, said the Russian Foreign Minister.
Symbolically, the commemoration of Bangabandhu's birth centenary is followed back to back by the celebration of the 50th anniversary of independence, he said, extending his heartfelt greetings to all on this remarkable jubilee event.
"It is a great honour for me to address the friendly people of Bangladesh on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of founder of your country Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50th anniversary of independence of Bangladesh," said the Russian Foreign Minister.
The people of East Bengal paid a high price for the right to determine its own destiny, he said.
"Our country offered Bangladesh considerable political support and contributed to its war-torn economy restoration efforts," said Minister Lavrov.
On request of the Government of Bangladesh, in April 1972, the 12th special-purpose company of the USSR Navy was dispatched to Bangladesh to perform mine and shipwreck clearance of the port of Chittagong. Soviet navy sailors lived up to their task.
"It is heartening that our Bangladeshi friends have carried the memory of this feat through half a century. Such a careful attitude towards our common history is highly commendable," he said.
Minister Lavrov said they welcome the considerable success made by the People's Republic of Bangladesh over the years of its independence.
"Your country is steadily pursuing its path towards progress and gradual development and enjoys a strong reputation in the international community," he said.
Dhaka actively engages in addressing current global challenges, including fight against poverty and climate change.
As a major troop contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations, it continues to largely contribute to the conflict settlement process across the globe.
"Last year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the turnover between our two states saw a nearly 15 percent increase, exceeding an all-time record mark of US$2.4 billion," he said.
Minister Lavrov highlighted the ongoing implementation of the largest joint project on the construction of the first nuclear power plant Rooppur in Bangladesh.
"We expect that it will be put into operation in 2023-2024, bringing to a completely new technological level the local energy sector," he said.