MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to an event on June 26 dedicated to the beginning of construction of a locks in the Panama Canal in line with the waterway's expansion, Panamanian Ambassador to Russia Miguel Lecaro Barcenas said Thursday.
“I’d like to sieze the moment to pass an invitation from Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Russian government is represented at the highest level for a ceremony dedicated to the beginning of construction on the Panama Canal…on June 26,” Barcenas said during an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Russia’s ties with Panama show "great promise" to ensure regional stability and security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at an event dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations on Thursday.
"We are deeply convinced that Russian-Panamanian relations, whose potential is yet to be fully realized, show great promise and broad horizons," Ryabkov said.
"We will work together with colleagues from Panama to ensure that this potential would continue to manifest itself for the benefit of our peoples and would contribute to regional security and stability," Ryabkov reaffirmed.
The canal was administered by Washington, which rented the facility until 1999, when it was handed over to Panama. The facility, handling some 14,000 vessels a year, currently undergoes an expansion program, designed to double the canal’s throughput, that began in 2007 and is scheduled for completion by 2016.