Sri Lanka for the first time will commence direct flights from Colombo to Moscow, Russia’s capital ,in a move to further strengthen ties between the two countries, the Civil Aviation Ministry said yesterday.
Ministry officials said that the decision was taken during a visit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Russian in October last year. They said that ties between the two countries are expected to get stronger with the new SriLankan airlines flights to Moscow, which will commence twice a week from September 17.
“Sri Lanka and Russia will further strengthen their ties with the start of the new flight schedule,” a ministry official said. Sri Lanka has been visibly strengthening its ties with super powers such as Russia and China in the recent years in. This will further encourage cooperation between the Sri Lankan and Russian people, the official said.
Ministry officials said there has been an increased demand from Russian travellers to visit Sri Lanka. Likewise we expect Sri Lankan tourism in Russia to also increase further, he said.
Tourist arrivals from Russia to Sri Lanka rose from 460 in May last year to 659 in May this year. He said an increase in Sri Lankan travellers in Russia will also encourage youth seeking education opportunities in Russia. (Olindhi Jayasundere)