The personal rapport established by President Maithripala Sirisena and Russian President Vladimir Putin resulted in the invitation to the Sri Lankan leader to pay an official visit to Russia, says Ambassador Saman Weerasinghe in Moscow. He said that when two leaders met in the BRICS Summit held in Goa, India last year, they held a lengthy discussion and the trust and friendship developed at the meeting was evident as within a few days of returning to Moscow, President Putin sent the written invitation for a state visit.
Ambassador Dr Weerasinghe expressed confidence on the bilateral discussions scheduled for tomorrow would usher in a new era of close cooperation between Sri Lanka and Russia.
President Sirisena is scheduled to arrive in Moscow this afternoon (March 22) marking the first official tour of a Sri Lankan leader to Russia after four decades. The last leader to pay a state visit to Russia occurred when the Prime Minister Sirimavo Badaranaike’s memorable visit in 1974.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Morgulov, Chief of Protocol and other high officials, Sri Lankan ambassador Saman Weerasinghe and embassy staff and family members will receive the President on arrival at the Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.
Ambassodor Weerasinghe said that Sri Lanka and Russia will enter into several new Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to expand bilateral cooperation in several fields such as energy, trade and commerce, agriculture, education, judiciary and defence.
The visit is expected to strengthen friendship and cooperation further and enhance bilateral trade. President Sirisena is scheduled to meet President Putin, Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev and other leaders in Kremlin in Red Square. He will also place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow. He will also attend the ceremony to mark 60th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.