Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe said the country may be forced to buy oil from Russia again.
He noted that Sri Lanka is in dire need of fuel and is currently trying to get oil and coal from the country’s traditional suppliers in the Middle East.
If we can get fuel from any other sources, then we will get it from there. Otherwise, we may have to turn to Russia again
the prime minister told the Associated Press
In addition, he noted that Russia also offered Sri Lanka wheat. According to him, the acute shortage of food in the country may continue until 2024.
In May, Bloomberg reported that Sri Lanka was buying oil from Russia in light of the fuel crisis in the country.
Sri Lanka is experiencing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948. In mid-April, the Sri Lankan authorities defaulted on their external debt for an interim period in anticipation of restructuring these obligations in accordance with the IMF-supported economic restructuring program. The external debt of the island state is estimated at $ 51 billion.
The economic crisis is caused by a shortage of foreign currency, which arose as a result of the restriction of tourist flow due to the coronavirus pandemic, as a result of which the country cannot buy enough fuel. There is an acute shortage of food and basic necessities, fuel and gas in the country. Many areas of Sri Lanka are facing power outages due to a shortage of foreign currency for fuel imports.
The Prime Minister explained that Colombo could take such a step because of the severe economic crisis in the country. At the same time, Sri Lanka considers the Persian Gulf countries to be the main energy suppliers. If it does not work out with them to agree on supplies, “we may have to turn to Russia again,” the politician said.
Earlier, on May 16, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, in his address to the nation, said that there was only one day of gasoline left in the country. On May 26, Russia received an appeal from Sri Lanka asking for assistance in overcoming the energy crisis in the country.