From Cold War to ‘New Cold War’: Bangladesh Foreign Policy vis-à-vis the United States and Russia

Sheikh Shams Morsalin

Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh


The emergence of independent Bangladesh was heavily influenced by the Cold War rivalry between the US and the USSR (succeeded by Russia). With the re-emergence of Russia as an assertive power and the rise of economic and infrastructure giant China, both determined to challenge the US dominance, we are indeed living in a ‘New Cold War’ era. By examining the foreign policy approach of Bangladesh vis-à-vis the US and Russia during the last decade and so, this paper primarily intends to understand how Bangladesh has been responding to the global power transformation. In this connection, the paper attempts to explore the nature of Bangladesh foreign policy under the present regime of Sheikh Hasina. Based on a comparative analysis of Bangladesh’s relationship with respect to the US and Russia across four broader areas, it is found that Bangladesh’s ‘development first’ foreign policy has been successful for the country in manoeuvring through ‘new Cold War’ realities.

Key Words: New Cold War, Bangladesh, United States, Russia, Foreign Policy.


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