Russian Ban On SL Tea Imports To Be Lifted Today
The ban imposed by Russia on tea imports from Sri Lanka is expected to be lifted today.
The Ministry of Plantation Industries said that tea exports will return to normalcy from today.
The Ministry said the ban imposed on Sri Lankan tea was lifted following successful discussions between representatives of the two countries.
Imports were halted earlier this month after Russia reportedly found an insect known as the Khapra beetle in a tea consignment from Sri Lanka.
However, it has been revealed that the Khapra beetle is not found in Sri Lankan tea or any other agricultural products as it is indigenous to European countries.
Accordingly, it is suspected the Kaphra beetle entered the tea consignment while it was being transported.
The Ministry of Plantation Industries previously said that subsequent to explaining the suspicions to the Russian representatives, the export of tea to Russia would return to normalcy by mid January.
President Maithripala Sirisena also had said that he would make an official request from Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw the temporary ban on Sri Lankan tea imports.
Russia is one of the biggest importers of Sri Lankan tea, which accounts for nearly a quarter of its $436m market.