Buhari pledges closer ties with Ukraine, to review closure of embassy in Sri Lanka

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pledged closer ties between Nigeria and Ukraine to the mutual benefit of both countries. The president gave the assurance at the State House, while receiving the outgoing Ambassador of Ukraine, Dr. Valeril Aleksandruk, who had spent over four years in Nigeria.
Ukraine currently collaborates with Nigeria in education, military cooperation, space exploration, and many others.

The envoy said: “There are almost 5,000 Nigerians currently studying in Ukraine. And the number increases every year. Education is a great investment for the future.”Aleksandruk added that his country also supplies Nigeria military hardware and ammunition, particularly to fight insurgency, disclosing that both countries have signed two agreements on space exploration.

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“We are ready for new level in our bilateral relations,” he said as Buhari wished him well in new assignments his country would give him.The president also said Nigeria would re-examine the closure of its embassy in Colombo in 2017 in view of its important relationship with Sri Lanka.

Speaking at a farewell audience for the High Commissioner of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka, Thambirajah Raveenthiran, at the State House, the president explained that financial challenges confronting the country presently informed the closure of some Nigerian embassies and consulates during a rationalisation exercise.

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He assured that his administration would review the decision as it affectd Sri Lanka following the request by the outgoing High Commissioner and wished Raveenthiran success in his future endeavours. Raveenthiran said he spent four of his 30-year career in diplomatic service in Nigeria.

He added that his period in Nigeria was remarkable in several ways, stressing that he enjoyed the support and cooperation of Nigerians, and was greatly assisted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The envoy said his country had a lot to offer Nigeria in counter-terrorism, medical tourism and higher education.

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