COLOMBO, Jan 15 (NNN-XINHUA) – Sri Lanka and Russia agreed to actively engage in regional organisations, such as, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and increase bilateral trade between the two countries to 700 million U.S. dollars, from the existing 400 million dollars.
Following bilateral discussions, held between Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena and visiting Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, in Colombo, the two ministers also agreed to enhance cooperation in several fields, including tourism, food economy, fisheries, education, trade and investment, as well as, security and defence.
Minister Gunawardena said, Russia is Sri Lanka’s 15th largest export destination and the 24th largest import country.
“Today we had an excellent meeting, where we renewed our commitment to further consolidate and transform our bilateral cooperation into a viable, results-oriented and mutually beneficial partnership,” Gunawardena said.
“The two sides recognised the threats posed by terrorism, violent extremism, illicit drugs trafficking and other transnational organised crimes to national, regional and international security, and agreed to continue our cooperation to pursue shared solutions and exchange best practices,” the minister added.
Sergei Lavrov said, Russia had been providing Sri Lanka cooperation in defence and several other sectors.
“Sri Lankan military will be assisted to improve its defence capacity, while we will also look at strengthening our bilateral ties in various other sectors,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday, on a two-day official visit, and is accompanied by a 42-member delegation.– NNN-XINHUA