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Detained Russian aircraft: SL looking to make amends with Russia says Minister

8 months ago

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Further to the disagreements and misunderstandings between Sri Lanka and Russia over the detainment of the Aeroflot airlines aircraft last week, Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms Wijeydasa Rajapaksa states that the Government of Sri Lanka is looking forward to making amends with the Government of Russia to ensure the inter-nation relationship is maintained. He made this statement during a media brief today (06). "Due to the disagreement and court case pertaining to the Aeroflot airlines aircraft, the relationship between Sri Lanka and Russia has been strained. Russia and Sri Lanka has shared a close bond for many years, in the means of trade and foreign exchange. Russia has played a a vital part in bringing foreign exchange into the country. We have had discussions with the Ambassodor to Russia and we are currently trying to resolve this matter amicably. We do admit that the Russians have given us reason to distrust them and there had been an incident where an official did receive a threat stating that legal action would be taken against that particular official if the aircraft was not allowed to depart. We are currently investigating this matter," said Minister Rajapaksa. He further added that the Ambassador to Sri Lanka in Russia is currently making efforts to resolve the matter amicably in Moscow. "The Ambassador is making efforts to resolve the matter amicably in Moscow currently. We have faith that this matter will be resolved and we will be able to ensure that the Russians can commute to Sri Lanka in the future without hassle. I want to say that despite previous statements made that the commuters would not be stopped from entering Sri Lanka, this matter is different. This is more of an issue between the Governments, and this was a matter that escalated due to the justice system. Because the justice system in our country has now accepted that there had been some negligence, this can be resolved. We have no authority to question the justice system, but we can refute things that we might feel is incorrect," he mentioned. On 2 June 2022, the Commercial High Court of the Western Province issued an Enjoining Order on the Aeroflot flight restraining it from taking off from Bandaranaike International Airport. The case relates to a commercial dispute between the Plaintiff, Celestial Aviation Trading 10 Limited an Irish Company against the first Defendant the Public Joint Stock Company "Aeroflot" and the second Defendant, Mr. N. C Abeywardene/Acting Head of Air Navigation/Airport and Aviation Services of Sri Lanka (AASL), Katunayake. Whereas, this afternoon, the Colombo Commercial Court issued an order for the immediate suspension of the injunction order on the Aeroflot Russian Airlines aircraft.

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