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Sri Lankan Ambassador congratulates Russia on approval of controversial COVID-19 vaccine

Photograph: Ministry of Foreign Relations, Sri Lanka

The Ambassador-Designate of Sri Lanka to Russia, Prof. M.D. Lamawansa visited Russia’s Moscow Clinical Centre to gift 46 boxes of Ceylon tea as gratitude from Sri Lanka to the medical staff combating COVID-19 and congratulated Russia for “being the first country in the world to produce a vaccine against the coronavirus.”

Photograph: Ministry of Foreign Relations, Sri Lanka

Lamawansa expressed Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s best wishes to Russian President Putin and people of the Russian Federation, with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister during discussions earlier this month.

Lamawansa said the relations between the two countries “have been built over the decades based on mutual respect and without any strings attached.”

Putin announced earlier this monththat Russia is the first in the world to approve a vaccine. Russia’s health minister added, “The country will begin a mass vaccination campaign in the fall.”

However, the vaccine has yet to complete Phase III clinical trials and the World Health Organization has cautioned that Russia should follow proven methods of vaccine testing for safety and effectiveness. Putin stated, “It works effectively enough.”

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