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* Russia agrees to continue providing arms to Sri Lanka for defense
Tue, Jan 14, 2020, 10:06 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 14, Colombo: Russia will continue to provide all necessary arms and ammunition to the Sri Lankan Army for Sri Lanka's security Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said today at a press conference in Colombo.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is on a two-day official visit to Colombo with a 42-member delegation today, held a joint press conference after meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Minsitry of Foreign relations.

During the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers and their representatives held bilateral discussions on cooperation between Sri Lanka and Russia in a number of areas including defense, political, trade, and science & technology.

Speaking at the joint press conference after the discussions, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said the decades old friendship between Sri Lanka and Russia is strong.

“Under the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two countries have taken a new friendly approach. Russian politics and literature nurtured Sri Lankan literature and politics. We thank Russia for supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Both countries have a very good understanding. Today's bilateral discussion is also very effective.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the two countries share a close and long-standing friendship based on trust, respect and equality.

“Sri Lanka and Russia work together very closely, especially, the law enforcement and defense ministries. We are ready to continue to provide the Sri Lankan forces with all the weapons they need for security.”

On economic cooperation and the investment front, Lavrov said Russia will support investment in hydrocarbon exploration and tourism and direct contact between business communities will be promoted to meet this goal. He said Russia wants to increase bilateral trade with Sri Lanka from USD 400 million to USD 700 million.

The Russian Minister also appreciated Sri Lanka’s support in international relations. “We thank Sri Lanka for its support to Russia's proposals at international organizations including the UN. We support the implementation of the proposals put forward by President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to normalize the country.”

The Russian Foreign Minister also took the opportunity to invite President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to visit Russia.

State Minister Susil Premajayantha, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Ravinatha Ariyasinghe and Defense Secretary Retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne were also present at the discussions.

 

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