President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met with Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena who is on an official visit to Moscow at Mr Putin’s invitation at the Kremlin on Thursday. Here is the report from Kremlin;

The two presidents adopted a Joint Declaration following their talks.

Beginning of meeting with President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,

Let me wish you a warm welcome to Russia. I am very happy that you accepted our invitation and have come to Russia as we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.

Mr President, Russia and Sri Lanka have developed excellent ties over these 60 years. Of course, we need to reflect on what more we can do to develop our trade and economic ties, and, for my part, I urge you to appoint a co-chair of the Intergovernmental Commission from your side.

Of course, it will be useful to discuss the international agenda, including the situation in the region.

It is a pleasure to see you. Welcome, Mr President.

President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena (retranslated): Mr President,

It is a great pleasure to have this chance to come to Russia at your invitation. Thank you very much for this. Previously, we met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit and at the meeting with BIMSTEC leaders.

Mr President, you rightly noted that we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. Over these 60 years, we have indeed developed and strengthened our countries friendship. I see today’s meeting as historic, as it is taking place in this anniversary year.

Over these 60 years, the Soviet Union and then the Russian Federation have helped and supported Sri Lanka in its development. In particular, the Russian Federation and the Soviet Union often showed support for our country on the international stage.

I want to mention here our party’s leader and former prime minister, who made a big contribution to developing bilateral relations between our countries.

We value the fact that Russia has always helped Sri Lanka in its development, and value the active cooperation we have in various international organisations. We are very grateful to you for this cooperation.

I have visited your country several times over the last 40 years. Of course, I can say that I love Russia and feel great warmth for the Russian people.

As for you personally, Mr President, you are a great leader of your country and have great and unquestionable influence on the international stage.

Regarding the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, I think we should continue in this spirit, for the next 100 years at least.

As we continue to develop our bilateral ties, we can help and support each other’s development and work together more closely and actively on the international stage and at the multilateral level.