Onlanka News – By Janaka Alahapperuma
(Pix by: Sudath Silva)
President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Russia this morning on 16th June to participate in the “15th St. Petersburg international Economic Forum”. He reached Russia to a very warm welcome, unveiling another new chapter in relations between the two countries. The President was warmly welcomed by the Deputy Governor in St. Petersburg, Mr. Sergei Alexsei Ivanovich at St. Petersburg Pulkovo International Air Port.
The 15th St. Petersburg international Economic Forum which commenced today will continue for three days. This is the first time that Sri Lanka is participating in this conference which comprises leading countries such as Russia, China, Spain and Finland as members. According to the press release Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Finnish President Tarja Halonen, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Hu Jintao, leader of the People’s Republic of China will be some of the leading invited guests. CEOs of top multinational companies from 110 countries will also be attending the three day forum.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga said, the invitation extended to President Rajapaksa to participate in the International Economic Forum is an honour bestowed on Sri Lanka.
Senior Minister of International Financial Co-operation, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of External Affairs, Prof G.L. Peiris, President’s Coordinating Secretary on International Affairs, Sajin Vass Gunawardena MP, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivad Cabral and some state officers in Russia were present at the occasion.
Pictures show President Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation being warmly welcomed by the Deputy Governor in St. Petersburg, Mr. Sergei Alexsei Ivanovich at Pulkovo International Air Port.