Russia & Sri Lanka pledge to solidify ties

2020-01-14 at 19:08

Russia has pledged to assist Sri Lanka to consolidate its regional position through balanced diplomacy and by attracting foreign investments, to improve defence capacity.

Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaking at a joint media briefing with Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardana this afternoon commended the close relationship between Sri Lanka and Russia, especially in the international arena.

Lavrov said Russia will continue its arms trade with Sri Lanka by providing weapons to the military and help Sri Lanka improve its defence system. 

 Lavrov arrived in Sri Lanka this morning on a two-day official visit with a 42-member delegation.

The Russian Foreign Minister will meet with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and will also holds talks with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Lavrov’s visit is expected to lead to the third meeting of the Russian-Sri Lankan intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation to be held in Moscow in the second half of the year.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena meanwhile thanked Russia for the support it has rendered to Sri Lanka in the past, especially at the UN Human Rights Council.

Minister Gunawardena said both Sri Lanka and Russia agreed to expand economic and trade cooperation as well as in the fields of defence and counter-terrorism.

Minster Gunawardena also said both countries agreed to expand bilateral trade to USD 700 million from around USD 400 million in 2018.