President Sirisena On Russia's Decision To Lift Ban On Ceylon Tea: 'Our Prompt Action Has Paid Off'

President Maithripala Sirisena, expressing his views on Russia's decision to lift the ban on Sri Lankan tea products, said, prompt action taken by the Sri Lankan government had paid off. 

In a Twitter message issued soon after the announcement of lifting of the ban, Sirisena said, "Sri Lanka's diplomacy with Russia has always been exemplary. The way the tea exports issue is yet another example of this friendship. Prompt action by government has paid off. This is also a time to thank Russia for cordiality."

Sri Lankan Ambassador To Russia Saman Weerasinghe said Russia agreed to life the ban from December 30 after the discussion between the Sri Lankan government and the Russian authorities. 

Russia banned tea imports from Sri Lanka after it found an insect in a stock of tea supplied by Sri Lanka. 

Later it was believed that the decision was a response to Sri Lanka's decision to ban Asbestos due to concerns raised by scientists and health experts. In a farcical turn of events, a few days after Russia imposed a ban on Sri Lankan tea, President Maithripala Sirisena withdrew his decision on Asbestos until further review. 

Then, a section of Sri Lankan media reported that the ban had nothing to with Asbestos, and was linked to the controversy of a Russian spy who went missing in Sri Lanka. 

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