The meeting was held on the initiative of the Russian side in
Moscow. The Sri Lankan side was represented by an impressive delegation led by
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sri Lanka in the Russian
Federation Mr. Saman Veerasinghe and Director General of the Department of
Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. R.R.A. Wijekoon. The Russian
side was represented by Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergei Dankvert, Deputy
Head of the Service Yulia Shvabauskene. The meeting was also attended by the representatives
of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Economic Development and
Trade, and the Ministry of Agriculture.
During the talks it was noted that more than 10% of the
total volume of exports of Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka are delivered to Russia.
In this regard, the ban on supplies introduced by the Russian side poses a very
serious problem for suppliers.
It was noted that this is the first case of detection of
this harmful, quarantinable for the Russian Federation, object in Sri Lankan products.
It was noted that Sri Lanka is a country of high risk of spreading khapra
beetle. The Lankan side voiced the assumption that the package was infected. For
its part, the Sri Lankan side announced its readiness to take all possible
measures to prevent such negative cases in the future.
Julia Shvabauskienė explained that the khapra beetle was
included in the list of quarantine objects due to its immediate danger to
agriculture, and therefore products with the presence of khapra beetle are
banned from importation into Russia. It was also noted that earlier the
Rosselkhoznadzor had already detected cases of the presence of khapra beetles
in plant products from Sri Lanka, but the insects were not viable, and
therefore did not pose a threat and the products were allowed for import.
The Lankan side informed about the decontamination of
containers. The country began to conduct inspection in the territory of Sri
Lanka for the presence of this organism. It is planned to accredit all plants,
packaging stations and storage facilities for tea intended for export to
In the course of the dialogue, the parties agreed that all
containers sent to Russia would be disinfected, and all tea lots would undergo
laboratory monitoring for the absence of quarantine objects for the Russian
Sergei Dankvert noted the significant role of the Russian
Association of Tea and Coffee Producers "Roschaicoffee" in settling
the situation with the tea supply from Sri Lanka to Russia. The Head of the
Rosselkhoznadzor also noted the need to strengthen cooperation between the two
It was also agreed that the delegation of Sri Lanka would
also visit the largest Russian Plant Quarantine Institute, subordinated to the
Rosselkhoznadzor, where it will get acquainted with the laboratory practice of
detection of quarantine objects in plant products in Russia and will have an
opportunity to talk with the researchers of the institute.
As a result of the negotiations, a decision has been taken
under the guarantees of the quarantine service of Sri Lanka to lift temporary
restrictions on the supply of all plant products from Sri Lanka since December
30, 2017. Meanwhile the Rosselkhoznadzor will carry out intensive laboratory
monitoring of all incoming consignments of plant products from Sri Lanka.