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Russian Amb reiterates commitment for stronger ties with Lanka

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Russian Ambassador Yury Materiy has reiterated their commitment to having strong Russia-Sri Lanka ties, in a message issued to mark Russia Day. Ambassador Materiy made reference to the reopening of its borders to Sri Lanka on April 1, which provides an opportunity for Russian airline companies and Srilankan Airlines to restart flights.

The following is the full text of the statement: “It is a great honour to address the people of Sri Lanka on our major national holiday – Russia Day which we celebrate on the 12th of June. It gives me pleasure to congratulate all the compatriots as well as our Sri Lankan friends on this solemn occasion.

The 12th of June marks the establishment of the present-day Russian Federation, which stretches from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands, from the northern Arctic seas to Sevastopol and Crimea. Russia is a country with a millennia-long history, unique legacy and culture. Strong patriotic sentiments and respect for the Motherland always helped our people to endure all tribulations and respond to any challenges.

Russia Day is a symbol of free and future-oriented Russia with such core principles of our development as freedom, rule of law, successful economic growth, consolidation of friendship of the peoples living in the country, utmost promotion of democracy, strengthening of our foreign policy. The aforesaid has laid the basis for the inviolable sovereignty of our State and established a reliable foundation for the protection of our national interests.

Russia is pursuing an independent multifaceted policy and is consistently working towards reducing international tensions and strengthening the democratic principles of communication based on international law. The overriding trend of global development is the process of the formation of a multipolar world, as well as new centres of economic and financial power.

The turbulent development of international relations compels Russia to strengthen its position on the international arena. Russia does its best to maintain all aspects of global and regional security and puts much effort into the formation of flexible target-oriented alliances with Russia’s active involvement, such as G20, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS. Our country is open for cooperation based on principles of equality and mutual respect. It is a high time for collective, collaborative efforts to find adequate solutions to common challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, which became a crucial test for international relations both at the level of individual countries and multilateral associations.

The objective of Russian foreign policy is to contribute to the creation of a sustainable world system based primarily on the equality of all participants and non-interference in internal affairs, while maintaining the supremacy of international law in the world arena, declaring full support for United Nations’ decisions and avoiding their unilateral and arbitrary interpretation.

The «centre of gravity» of the global growth is rapidly moving towards Asia-Pacific region, including South Asia. These regions have become one of key priorities of Russia’s foreign policy. Russia is not only a European but also an Asian country, due to its geographical position, history, cultural and religious links with the East, thus becoming a natural bridge between the East and the West. Russian support was one of the determinant factors contributing to the victory of national liberation movements in Asia.

The Russian-Sri Lankan relations provide a good example of sincere friendship and mutual understanding that can exist between two countries. We share similar approaches to key international issues such as fighting terrorism, ensuring central role of the UN, settlement of regional and local conflicts, and many others.

Russia extended its full support to the Sri Lankan Government during the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, and made every effort to oppose the anti-Sri Lankan Resolution. Russia voted against this Resolution.

Our economic relations have been developing at a good pace, reaching new heights in 2020. The trade turnover recorded an increase of 24% and amounted to almost $500 million. A good opportunity to discuss prospects of bilateral cooperation, including in the sphere of economy and trade will arise during the virtual meeting of the Russia-Sri Lanka Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation which is to be held in June, this year.

One of the major examples of our ever-growing partnership is the working visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov to Sri Lanka on January 14, 2020. The Russian Foreign Minister met with President

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister  Dinesh Gunawardena. The visit of the Russian ForeignMinister is a major event that will give further impetus to the bilateral cooperation and will contribute to our time-tested friendship.

“Our inter-parliamentary dialogue is an efficient instrument of strengthening Russian-Sri Lankan ties. On April 7 the revival meeting of the Sri Lanka – Russia Parliamentary Friendship Association took place at the Sri Lankan Parliament, which has given a boost to relations between our legislative bodies.

Russia and Sri Lanka are cooperating closely on battling the coronavirus pandemic. The first batch of Russian Sputnik V vaccine was delivered to Sri Lanka on the 4th of May, the second – on May 27. Several more batches are expected to be delivered in the near future.

Russia and Sri Lanka have always valued the importance of education for empowering the future generations. Every year we expand the educational opportunities for Sri Lankans by providing scholarships. This year the Russian Government has allocated scholarships to 40 Sri Lankan citizens.

On April 1, 2021,Russia reopened its borders for Sri Lanka, which provides an opportunity for Russian airline companies and Srilankan Airlines to restart flights. It will contribute to the development of humanitarian relations, encouraging the tourist flow between Russia and Sri Lanka.

I am confident that through joint efforts we will continue enhancing our cooperation in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres for the benefit of our peoples.”

 

 



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Employees’ Trust Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 to be amended

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Hon. President in his capacity as the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies to instruct the legal draftsman to prepare a bill to amend the Employees’ Trust Provident Fund Act No. 46 of 1980 enabling to provide health insurance similar to Agrahara health insurance to private sector employees.

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Cabinet nod for MOU between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives on Cultural Cooperation

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved the proposal presented by the Minister of Buddha Sasana, Religious and Cultural affairs to sign a cultural cooperation agreement between the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the Maldives. (The draft agreement has received the clearance of the Attorney General and the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

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Outgoing Bulgarian Ambassador calls on the President

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(pic PMD)

Mrs. Eleonora Dimitrova, Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, met President Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday (06), before departing for her home country upon completing her tenure in Sri Lanka.

 

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