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* Russia agrees to lift ban on Sri Lanka tea imports
Mon, Dec 25, 2017, 07:08 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 25, Colombo: Russia has lifted the temporary ban imposed on Sri Lanka tea imports, following discussions with the Sri Lankan delegation sent last week to Moscow for negotiations. Accordingly, the Russian authorities have decided to lift the ban with effect from December 30.

As a result of the meeting between the official delegation from the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the representatives of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance today, December 25th, the decision has been made to withdraw the temporary restrictions imposed by the Russian Federation on Ceylon tea imports from Sri Lanka on December 18, 2017 with effect from December 30, 2017, the Sri Lankan embassy in Moscow said.

The official Russia imposed restrictions on Sri Lankan tea all other agricultural imports from 18 December after a Khapra beetle, was found in the packaging of one consignment of tea from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka sent a delegation comprising representatives from the Ministry of Plantation and Ceylon Tea Board, to Moscow last week for discussion on lifting the ban.

Sri Lanka delegation was led by the Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Rohan Pethiyagoda and Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation Dr. Saman Weerasinghe while the Russian counterpart was headed by the Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergei Dankvert.

This result was achieved thanks to the mutual and timely cooperation between the state authorities of Sri Lanka and the Russian Federation during the period of one week since the announcement of the restrictions, the Embassy said.

The Embassy noted that the most positive influence in this regard was made by the official letter of President Maithripala Sirisena addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the imposed restrictions, where he mentioned the current positive tendency of development of bilateral relations between the two states and the gravity of the soonest resolution of the issue related to the Ceylon tea imports.

State authorities of both countries pointed out the importance of presence of Ceylon tea on the Russian market, taking into account the fact that Russia is one of the largest export destinations for Sri Lanka, whereas Ceylon tea gains more and more popularity with Russian consumers every year.

Tea consists of nearly 80 percent of Lankan exports to Russia and Sri Lanka exported US$ 143 million worth of teas to Russia last year.


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