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Russian Embassy in Colombo Denies Sri Lankan Involvement in Ukrainian Conflict

April 20, Colombo (LNW): The Russian Embassy in Colombo issued a statement refuting claims of Sri Lankan nationals participating in the Ukrainian conflict on the Russian side, dismissing any knowledge of their involvement or the numbers potentially involved.

Responding to a lead story published in the Daily News on Friday (19) regarding the alleged recruitment of Sri Lankan mercenaries for the Russian Army, the Embassy clarified that they lack information on such participation. They emphasized that the safeguarding of Sri Lankan citizens’ interests and rights in Russia falls under the jurisdiction of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow.

The statement reiterated that visas are issued to Sri Lankans based on valid travel documents, unrelated to military activities. The Embassy emphasized their lack of knowledge regarding Sri Lankan involvement in the Ukrainian conflict or any local recruitment agencies facilitating such actions.

Additionally, the Embassy denied any association with the return of a corporal purportedly fleeing from the combat zone, as mentioned in the Daily News article titled “Popular tele actresses found recruiting mercenaries” by Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe.

While emphasizing that the Russian Embassy in Colombo oversees the protection of Russian citizens in Sri Lanka, they noted that matters concerning foreigners in Russia are the responsibility of relevant diplomatic representations in Moscow.

However, the Embassy underscored their efforts to prevent individuals with military intentions from entering Russia, conducting additional interviews to assess travelers’ intentions. They acknowledged the possibility of travelers altering their plans once in Russia but reiterated their commitment to upholding visa regulations.

In conclusion, the Embassy reiterated its focus on protecting Russian citizens in Sri Lanka while emphasizing the distinct responsibilities of diplomatic representations in Moscow regarding foreign nationals in Russia.

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