Lankans fighting for Russia? “We know nothing about it,” says embassy



The Russian Embassy in Colombo, on Friday (19) stated that it possesses no information regarding the involvement of Sri Lankan citizens in the Ukrainian conflict on the Russian side, as well as any data on potential numbers of such individuals.

Commenting on recent newspaper articles, the embassy said they are not aware of a local recruiting agency that hires Sri Lankans to fight for Russia under false pretenses and promises.

The Embassy also denied any connections with the return to Sri Lanka of a corporal who allegedly fled from the combat zone as reported by some Sri Lankan media outlets.

“We would like to note that protection of the interests and rights of Sri Lankan citizens in the territory of Russia is under the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Moscow,” the statement said.

“At the same time the Embassy finds it necessary to stress that visas are issued to Sri Lankans by its Consular Section in Colombo on the basis of valid documents of applicants in confirmation of their travel goals which have nothing to do with military operations. In order to prevent the entrance of persons with such intentions to Russia the Embassy conducts additional interviews with them.

“However, if the Sri Lankans decide to change their travel goal or nature of activity performed in Russia, we cannot impede them to act so. We would like to reiterate that the issues related to foreigners residing in Russia fall within the competence of relevant diplomatic representations in Moscow while the Russian Embassy in Colombo is in charge of protection of the Russian citizens’ in Sri Lanka.

“Should the Embassy receive an official request from Sri Lankan officials, it will provide available information.”