COLOMBO, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — Sri Lanka and Russia on Tuesday agreed to actively engage in regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization 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 defense.
Minister Gunawardena said that Russia is Sri Lanka’s 15th largest export destination and the 24th largest import origin 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 recognized the threats posed by terrorism, violent extremism, illicit drugs trafficking and other transnational organized crimes to national, regional and international security and agreed to continue our cooperation to pursue shared solutions and exchange best practices," the minister added.
Russian Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had been providing Sri Lanka cooperation in defense and several other sectors and and it will continue to do so.
"Sri Lankan military will be assisted to improve its defense 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 was accompanied by a 42-member delegation.