Foreign Ministers of Russia and Sri Lanka signed a statement on no first deployment of weapons in outer space on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, the External Affairs Ministry said Monday.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signed a Joint Statement on "No First Deployment of Weapons in Outer Space" on the margins of the UNGA Sessions in New York on 27th September.
While noting the significance of Outer Space activities for social, economic, scientific and technological development of states, as well as its role in maintaining national and global security, the Joint Statement declares to make all possible efforts to prevent Outer Space from becoming an arena.
"The Statement further expresses the belief that Outer Space should be used in compliance with international law for the benefit of all nations, regardless of the level of their economic, scientific or technological development," the Ministry said.
During the discussion on bilateral issues the two ministers have agreed on the need to focus on expanding economic relations.
The Russian Foreign Minister has acknowledged the growth in bilateral trade by 75 percent in the first six months of the year, and suggested that the two countries target to achieve a trade volume worth one billion dollars a year.
Minister Lavrov also informed that Russia has reduced tariffs on Sri Lankan tea imports to Russia which will enhance its exports from Sri Lanka.
They have agreed to expedite conclusion of the agreements under negotiation in order to strengthen the bilateral legal framework.
Emphasizing the need to depoliticize the UN Human Rights Council, and make the debates issue-based rather than country specific, the Sri Lankan Minister has appreciated Russia's ready assistance and support extended to Sri Lanka in the multilateral fora. Minister Lavrov has assured that Russia would support to oppose unwarranted criticism of Sri Lanka.
Minister Peiris has extended an invitation to his Russian counterpart to visit Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient date.