Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sri Lanka and to the Republic of Maldives
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Russian Diplomats’ Day 2021

Russian-Sri Lankan and Russian-Maldivian events 2020

Russian-Sri Lankan and Russian-Maldivian events 2020

On the occasion of the Russian Diplomats’ Day

On the 10th of February each year the Russian diplomatic service celebrates its professional holiday – Russian Diplomats’ Day, which was established by the Presidential Decree in 2002. The date is closely associated with the history of Russia’s first foreign affairs agency – the Ambassadorial Department, created on February 10, 1549.

The celebration of this holiday in Russia shows the high public recognition of the profession of a diplomat, as well as the importance of diplomacy. Russian Diplomats’ Day is a tribute to many generations of predecessors who faithfully served Russia, continues the good traditions of Russian diplomacy and is aimed at strengthening the diplomatic service in ensuring Russia’s interests in the international arena.

Russian diplomacy is pursuing an independent multivector policy and is consistently working towards reducing international tensions and strengthening the democratic principles of international communication based on law. The overriding trend of global development is the objective process of the formation of a multipolar world, new centres of economic might and financial power. Russia does its best to maintain all aspects of global and regional security.

The UN Charter is the anchor of any discussions as well as the principles, such as the sovereign equality of states, non-interference in internal matters, respect for territorial integrity, peaceful resolution of disputes. They should be applicable to every situation in the world and remain the guiding point for any discussion to develop any new ideas in the world arena.

Russian Diplomats’ Day gives us an opportunity to remember the past, think about the present and future of our diplomatic service, as well as look back at the Russia’s diplomatic performance in 2020.

In 2020, a vital sphere of Russia’s efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic was the repatriation of over 300,000 Russians and the provision of assistance to those of them who found themselves in difficult circumstances abroad.  Russia was one of the first countries to start assisting other states’ efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19 and overcome its socioeconomic consequences, as well as launched broad-based cooperation for creating, producing and supplying anti-viral medicines and vaccines.

An important international event of 2020 was the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II and the establishment of the United Nations Organisation. Russia’s traditional UNGA resolution on combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance has been supported by the overwhelming majority of UN member states: 58 countries co-authored it and 130 voted for its adoption. Recognizing the contribution of all the Allies to the common Victory, Russia will continue opposing attempts to rewrite history and to revise the outcomes of World War II.

Russia successfully performed its duties as a chairperson of several international forums and organisations, including BRICS, Russia-India-China group and Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Over 70 events were held within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), including the SCO Summit on November 10. The member states coordinated their positions on a wide range of international issues and approved action plans for the implementation of the SCO Development Strategy in 2021-2025 and the Programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation until 2035.

Activities within the framework of the Russian initiative for creating a Greater Eurasian Partnership have reached a new level: the Joint Commission on implementing the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the People’s Republic of China held its first meeting, and the updated programme of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission and Association of Southeast Asian Nations until 2025 has been approved. The Greater Eurasia concept was supported in the final documents of the SCO heads of state and government meetings.

Russia's efforts to resolve regional conflicts and crises brought concrete results. Russia’s mediation helped put an end to armed clashes and restore peace in Nagorno-Karabakh. Emergency humanitarian aid was provided, proper conditions were created for the return of the refugees and displaced persons, a peacekeeping operation was launched, and the creation of a joint Russian-Turkish ceasefire compliance centre was agreed upon.

Russia’s mediation helped achieve a drastic reduction in shelling in eastern Ukraine and, in general, maintain the ceasefire between the parties to the intra- Ukrainian conflict.

Cooperation of Russia with Iran and Turkey in the Astana format helped stabilise the situation in Syria. A considerable contribution to the settlement of humanitarian problems has been made by the international conference on the return of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons held in Damascus (November 11-12), which was attended by delegates from over 20 countries. At the bilateral level, Russia continued providing assistance to Syria for overcoming the socioeconomic crisis.

Substantial efforts have been made in combating new challenges and threats. Russia’s efforts during the 63rd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs ensured the adoption of a resolution on promoting the involvement of youth in drug prevention efforts.

In 2020, Russian-Sri Lankan relations further expanded. In January, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov paid a visit to Colombo and held talks with President of Sri Lanka H.E. Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Disnesh Gunawardena.

In February, Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces, General of the Army of Russia Mr. Oleg Salyukov was on a five-day visit to Sri Lanka and took part in the 72nd Independence Day celebrations as the Chief Guest.

In September, upon completing a business call at port Hambantota the Russian large antisubmarine ships Admiral Tributs and Admiral Vinogradov took part in the rescue operation of the crew of the MT New Diamond crude oil carrier, which caught fire near the coast of Sri Lanka.

Despite the COVID-19 situation the volume of bilateral trade between January and November has increased by 27.4 per in comparison with 2019. There are good prospects of establishing cooperation between Russia and Sri Lanka in the field of production of Russian medicine, including anti coronavirus vaccine «Sputnik V».

Russian-Maldivian relations have been developing at a good pace.

In January, 2020, H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov and H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid had a meeting on the sidelines of the annual international conference «The Raisina Dialogue» in New Delhi. In April, 2020, the Ministers held a substantial telephone conversation.

This year, Russia will continue maintaining global security and strategic stability and developing the ever-growing partnership with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.