Tea break– Govt. expects response from Russia today
Posted on December 18th, 2017

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

In its effort to secure a lift of the restriction on tea trade, the Sri Lanka embassy in Moscow initiated communication with the Russian authorities and await a response, an official here said yesterday.

Russia said it would impose a temporary restriction on imports of all agricultural products from Sri Lanka, including tea, from December 18 after the detection of an insect known as the Khapra beetle in a consignment of tea from Sri Lanka.

The Russian market accounts for 23 percent of Sri Lanka’s total tea exports. It is the second largest tea market for Sri Lanka, next to Turkey. Russia imported 141, 300 tonnes of tea worth the US $ 436 million up to October, this year.

Asked about steps taken to address the issue, Plantation Industries Ministry Secretary J. A. Ranjith told the Daily Mirror that Sri Lankan embassy had taken up the matter with the Russian authorities.

However, he said the Ministry was awaiting response today for it.

There is no response yet. We will hear something tomorrow (Monday),” he said.

Though the detection of a beetle was projected as the reason for the restriction on tea trade with Sri Lanka, diplomatic sources said it could be done in retaliation by Russia for the Sri Lankan Government’s decision to ban the import of asbestos roofing materials from Russia effective from 2024. (Kelum Bandara)

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