Sri Lanka: President Sirisena Travels To Russia, First State Visit Since 1974

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Wednesday, marking the first official tour of a Sri Lankan leader to Russia in four decades.

The last Sri Lankan leader to pay a state visit to Russia after 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.

According to the Sri Lanka government, during the visit the two countries 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 between two countries, the Sri Lanka government said.

Sri Lanka’s main export products to Russia include tea in bulk and packed, green tea, apparel, industrial and surgical gloves of rubber, aircrafts components, desiccated coconut, activated carbon, discharge lamps, coir fiber and coir products, pneumatic and retreated rubber tyres & tubes.

The main imports from Russia to Sri Lanka are base metal products, paper and paper products, non-metallic mineral products, chemicals and plastic products, electrical and electronic products, parts and machinery woven fabrics.

Tourism is another area rapidly expanding as the number of Russian tourist arriving in Sri Lanka has marked a steady increase. There is a need for reestablishment of direct air links as the Aeroflot flight to Colombo that was commenced on 15th March 1965 was scrapped later, the Sri Lanka government said.

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