Russia can provide all military hardware SL Govt. wants – Ambassador



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Alexander

by Zacki Jabbar


 


Russia is not concerned about the growing American and Indian influence in Sri Lanka, nor would it do anything to try and squeeze them out, says its Ambassador in Colombo Alexander Karchava.


"The then Soviet Union’s big influence in Sri Lanka has diminished, but we are not going to push your government to increase our presence here. Russia will gradually improve cooperation depending on Colombo’s requirements. We will not try to squeeze anyone out of Sri Lanka", the Ambassador said when asked if his country was concerned about increased American and Indian participation in Sri Lankan affairs in recent times


He was addressing a news conference at the Russian Embassy in Colombo 7 last week.


Responding to  a question on the status of talks with the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government looking   for fighter jets from Russia, China, Pakistan and Sweden, he replied "Sri Lanka is searching for a number of products in the air, sea and land. We can accommodate everything. Russia has the originals and they  are durable, unlike the duplicates."


Military technical cooperation was ongoing and Colombo  had bought a number of Russian helicopters in recent years, Karchava said.


He observed that Ceylon tea sold well in Russia and the number of scholarships offered by his government to Sri Lankan students  had risen from 30,000 in 2013  to a current figure of 55,000.


There was also scope for Russian investments in Sri Lanka, especially in the leisure sector with  tourist traffic between the two countries gradually picking up, the Ambassador noted.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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