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President to Visit Russia next March

President Mairthripala Sirisena will visit Russia on 23 March on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Embassy in Colombo, confirmed.

At a press briefing yesterday, Russian Ambassador Alexander A. Karchava said his government was working on welcoming the President of Sri Lanka, a President who is visiting Russia after several decades.

He added that his visit would mark the 60th anniversary of Russia – Sri Lanka bilateral and diplomatic relationship.

He also mentioned that the two governments had set up an intergovernmental bilateral joint committee, known as the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), to boost trade, economics, science and technology between the two countries.

The first committee sitting was held in February 2016 and the parties are scheduled to hold the next sitting next year during the 60th anniversary celebrations.

He added that agriculture is one of the main areas, after Ceylon Tea, that they would be concentrating upon.

He also said that they would be signing a bilateral agreement on fisheries as it will be important for their bilateral interaction.

He said Russia had invited the Speaker of the House Karu Jayasuriya last year, but unfortunately he fell ill and they would be expecting him to visit Russia next year in June or July.

The two top level visits are expected, by the Russian Government, to boost bilateral ties and he also recalled that after nearly 59 years Russia established a permanent embassy in Sri Lanka.

During the BRICS summit 2016, held in Goa, India, the two Presidents, Putin and Sirisena, had reached an understanding that President Sirisena would visit Moscow next year.

According to the Russian Ambassador, the bilateral trade ties are practically stable, but not growing. He said the general turnover was about half a billion US Dollars.