MOSCOW Russia, the world's second-largest weapons exporter, has granted a $1 billion loan to Bangladesh for arms purchases, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after talks with the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.
"Our countries intend to broaden military-technical cooperation," Putin said, referring to weapons sales and servicing. He did not specify what weapons or military equipment Bangladesh would buy from Russia.
Russia will provide a separate $500 million loan to Bangladesh to help build its first nuclear power plant, Ruppur, under an agreement signed after the meeting, Putin said.
"We will not only provide the most up-to-date technology ... but we will also provide financial support for the construction of the nuclear power plant at the initial stage," he said.
The head of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said technical and environmental assessments would be carried out this year for the plant, which is to have two 1,000-megawatt reactors and be completed in the early 2020s.
He told reporters more loans would be required at later stages.
(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, writing by Gabriela Baczynska,; editing by Steve Gutterman)