President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said, he would make an official request from Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw the temporary restrictions imposed on tea imports from Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena also said that a special delegation headed by Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen will be sent to Russia today to discuss the issue.

Speaking at a public event at Haputale town, President Sirisena said that he was confident that Russia, a long standing friend of Sri Lanka would respond positively to the request to lift the temporary ban on tea exports.

According to agency reports, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance had said last Thursday that it had taken the decision to impose temporary restrictions after it found an insect, in the packaging of one consignment of tea from Sri Lanka.

The President went on to say that already an investigation has been initiated against the company which had exported the consignment of tea from Sri Lanka in which the insect had been detected.

President Sirisena said steps will be taken to revoke the export license of the said company if found guilty.

Meanwhile, referring to several newspaper reports about certain issues faced by pensioners, the President said that immediate steps will be taken to solve them if the reports were correct.

The President was speaking at the first United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) meeting to support party candidates contesting the upcoming local authority election from the Badulla district.

The meeting had been organized by the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) which is supporting the UPFA at the upcoming polls.

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Uva Chief Minister Chamara Dassanayake and UVA Provincial Council Minister Sendil Thondaman were present. 

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