Russia’s Renewed defense cooperation with Sri Lanka will likely get an injection as Nikolay Patrushev, Secretary to the Russian Security Council, arrived in Colombo Monday.
Moscow has a Renewed focus on South Asia and this trip by Patrushev to the capital of Sri Lanka demonstrates its commitment to strengthening defence partnership with similar-minded countries in the region.
Former Director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), the 70-year old was visiting New Delhi to participate in the ‘Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan.
Patrushev, in Colombo once more highlighted Kremlin’s new focus on the Indian Ocean and upheld the recent military cooperation agreement with the Lankan government.
Russia already has pledged arms and equipment to help improve the military capabilities of the Sri Lankan army.
During the Monday Security consultations, Russia stated that there were “prospects of deepening cooperation”.
Patrushev’s Office stated that the main focus was on the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in anti-terrorist matters, as well as the exchange of analytical material on terrorist organisations and individuals.
It added that “In addition to threats in information Security, we considered measures to combat crime using information and communications technologies in detail.”
The two countries discussed military and technical cooperation as well as topics related to social, political, and sanitary stability, law, order, and epidemiological health.
Security and military-technical collaboration are key to enhancing Security
Since last year’s visit to Colombo by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, there has been a growing degree of diplomatic dialogue, military cooperation and contacts at all levels between Russia and Sri Lanka.
Last month, a squadron of the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, including corvette Gremyashchiy and submarines Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Volkhov, arrived at the Colombo harbour in a show of strengthening relations between the armed forces of the two countries.
Last month, General Oleg Slyukov, Commander in Chief of Russian Land Forces was also in Moscow as he hosted General Shavendra Singh Silva, Army Commander and Chief of Defence Staff of Lanka.They discussed joint combat training and the training of Sri Lankan soldiers at the Russian Ministry of Defence.
Participants in the strategic-level exercise ‘Exercise Zapad 2021’, held near Nizhniy Novogogard in Russia in September included members of Sri Lanka’s armed forces.