President Maithripala Sirisena will leave for Russia tomorrow (Mar. 22) on an official invitation made by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It is significant that a Sri Lankan Head of State receives an official invitation to visit Russia after four decades and this upcoming visit will be the first official visit to Russia by a Sri Lankan leader since 1974, when Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike visited Moscow.
Many of Political and International relations experts point out that this official invitation by the Russian President Vladimir Putin as a powerful leader in the world,signifies an important milestone in the government’s foreign relations.
During the visit, President Sirisena is scheduled to sign several bilateral agreements in the areas of economics, trade, tourism, science and technology sector, cultural and education cooperation,which brings many developmental benefits to Sri Lanka.
During the bilateral discussions with the Russian President Vladimir Putin it is expected to be discussed in detail regarding the ways to further strengthing the ties between two countries.
The President is also scheduled to attend a ceremony organize to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment diplomatic relations between the two countries and he will also attend a Sri Lanka-Russia Business Forum, which is organized to further promote trade and investment between two countries.
Russia holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, beside with the second largest coal reserves and it is with a strong export performance and a very low debt burden. In a global map, Russia claimed 11th highest GDP in the world. Russian culture and science is holding a long history in the world and more trend towards technological innovations.
The Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka in 1956. Sri Lankan value added tea exports to Russia is around 17% and at present there is a strong economic ties between the two countries.
President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Russia will write a new chapter in the longstanding friendly relationships between the two countries.