Moscow, June 30 (newsin.asia): The Chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, held talks with his counterpart from Sri Lanka, Adm. Ravindra Wijegunaratne on the sidelines of the ARMY International Military and Technical Forum.
“Sri Lanka is Russia’s reliable partner in South Asia. We have very good relations established over the 60 years of development of our contacts,” Gen. Gerasimov added.
“We are interested in the development of military cooperation, interaction in the fight against international terrorism in the region and other the agreements reached in June in Dushanbe by the leaders of the two countries, Vladimir Putin and Maithripala Sirisena.
The Russian Defense Ministry was satisfied with the results of the meeting between the Deputy Defense Ministers Alexander Fomin and Secretary to State Minister of Defense Kitsiri Nemmavatta in April at the Moscow Conference on International Security.
Gen. Gerasimov thanked his colleague for his decision to take part in the work of ARMY International Military and Technical Forum.
He is confident that today’s meeting will strengthen the friendly relations between the armed forces of the two countries.
Between June 23 and 30, Russia hosted the largest exhibition of military and dual-purpose equipment in the modern “Patriot” Park near Moscow.
This year the international Military Technical Forum “ARMY-2019” gathered a record 110 foreign delegations, represented by the highest military ranks.
The flags of all participating countries flew in the Russian air, and one of them was the national flag of Sri Lanka.
The Forum was attended by a high-level Sri Lankan delegation, headed by Admiral R. C. Wijegunaratne, Chief of Defence Staff, and including Captain (N) P. G. J. C. Samaranayake, Secretary to Chief of Defence Staff, A. S. S. Kumara, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka, and Wing Commander W. D. C. Wijesinghe, Aide de Camp to Secretary of Defence. The delegation also included H. E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation, and Group Captain Uditha Piyasena, newly appointed Defence Attaché at the Embassy Sri Lanka in Moscow.
The Forum opened with a plenary session and a solemn ceremony of hoisting the Forum’s flag. The audience was addressed by Yuri Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Chemezov, General Director of the Rostec Corporation, Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade, and General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation.
A meeting with Dmitry Shugaev, Director of Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, was held for the Sri Lankan delegation on the sidelines of “Army-2019” to discuss Sri Lanka – Russia cooperation in the military technical sphere.
In the framework of the Forum, the delegation was warmly greeted by Colonel General Alexander Fomin, Deputy Minister of Defence of Russia, who expressed his solidarity with Sri Lanka in the fight against international terrorism.
The delegation had an introductory meeting with JSC Rosoboronexport, the Russian state mediator for exports of defense-related and dual purpose products.
The first day of the ARMY-2019 Forum ended with an impressive dynamic exercise with tanks, such as T80, T72B3, T90; MBRLs Tornado G (continuing the tradition of the famous Katuysha or Stalin’s Organ of WWII), self-propelled guns Hosta, Msta-S, multiple launch rocket system Smerch, surface-to-air gun and missile systems Tunguska-M1, Pantsir-S1, anti-aircraft missile and gun system Tor-М2, attack helicopters Mi-28N, as well as Russia’s new mobile short-range ballistic missile system Iskander-M.
The demonstration concluded with an impressive T80U tank firing in the air after a ramp jump stunt.
In his interview to Russian TV Channel One, which is the top Russian TV channel with the audience of over 250 million viewers worldwide, Ambassador Jayatilleka stated that the ARMY-2019 Forum in Russia stood out among similar military equipment exhibitions and shows in other countries because of the unique combination of the most modern technologies and armaments, the products of the best of human minds, with the warmth and heartfelt feeling, which was so much felt at the Forum.
Ambassador Jayatilleka added that the Russian arms had for the most part been in the service of the good, and Sri Lanka, and many other countries appreciated Russia’s role as the world balancing power, securing stability and peace.
(The featured image at the top shows Lankan Chief of Defense Staff Adm.R.Wijegunaratne with envoy Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka and Russian Chief of General Staff, Gen.Valery Gerasimov)