Crisis-hit Sri Lanka looks forward to enhancing ties with Russia: Report

In order to enhance ties with Russia, the newly appointed Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry met with the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Sri Lanka Yury Materiy on Sunday.

The Foreign Minister expressed his deep appreciation for Russia's support towards Sri Lanka in bilateral and multilateral fora.

He also expressed confidence in the further consolidation of cooperation, with particular attention to enhancing business ties, tourism and connectivity, Colombo Gazette reported.

Russian ambassador congratulated Sabry for his appointment and handed over a message of felicitation from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressed to the new Foreign Minister.

The Deputy Head of Mission of the Russian Embassy in Colombo and senior officials of the Foreign Ministry were present at the meeting.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin, while congratulating Wickremesinghe on his election as the head of the country had said that the Russian-Sri Lankan relations are of a traditionally friendly nature and Russia looks forward to developing constructive bilateral cooperation in various spheres for the benefit of our people and in the interest of strengthening regional stability and security.

Amid the crippling fuel shortage in the country, earlier, the former President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa sought credit support to import fuel to the island nation in a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries in several key sectors including energy even as Colombo negotiated a support package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The two leaders discussed current matters of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, in particular, in energy, agriculture, and transport.

Following this, Gotabaya thanked Vladimir Putin for all the support extended by his government to overcome the challenges of the past.

Notably, this year marks the 65th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and Sri Lanka.