President Maithripala Sirisena received a warm welcome at the Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow today (March 22). He was received by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Morgulov, Chief of Protocol and other high officials of the Russian Federation. Sri Lankan Ambassador Dr. Saman Weerasinghe and embassy staff and family members were also present at the airport, where the brief ceremony was held. The ceremonial welcome will be held at the Kremlin in Red Square tomorrow where President Vladimir Putin will wellcome him and a guard of honour will also be held.
This is the first official tour of a Sri Lankan leader to Russia in four decades after the state visit of Prime Minister Sirimavo Badaranaike in 1974. The President was accompanied by Mrs. Jayanthi Sirisena and several ministers and officials.
During the forthcoming visit, two countries will enter into several new Agreements and Memorandum 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. An agreement on Cooperation in Fisheries, a Protocol on Cooperation in Education and Culture and two Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Education, Science and Technology and Culture will also be signed during the visit.
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 establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.