Sri Lanka might have to resort to buy Russian oil
“Sri Lanka may be compelled to buy more oil from Russia as the island nation hunts desperately for fuel amid an unprecedented economic crisis,” the newly appointed Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said. The Prime Minister noted that he would first try to tap other sources of oil, but mentioned that he “would be open to buying more crude from Moscow”.
This comes as Western nations have chopped off energy imports from Russia amid sanctions imposed over its offensive on Ukraine.
On Saturday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister sat down for a detailed interview with The Associated Press, wherein he also indicated that he would be “willing to accept more financial help from China, despite his country’s mounting debt”.
Economic crisis is own-making, but is exaggerated by Ukraine war
In the interview that was conducted in Colombo, the sixth time prime minister Wickremesinghe said that though economic crisis due to mounting debts is a result of own-making, the crisis is being further exacerbated due to ongoing war in Ukraine.
Sri Lanka has is under a foreign debt of $51 billion, but has suspended repayment of about $7 billion that was due this year.
The mounting foreign debt has left the country absolutely no means money for importing even the basic commodities. This has left citizens to struggle for accessing basic necessities such as food, fuel, medicine, toilet paper and matches. The shortages have led to power outages wkth people having to wait in miles long lines to get cooking gas and gasoline that is very limited.
“If we can get from any other sources, we will get from there. Otherwise (we) may have to go to Russia again,” Wickremesinghe said. He added that though the government is negotiating with private suppliers for fuel, “there is a lot of oil going around which can be sourced back informally to Iran or to Russia.”
“Sometimes we may not know what oil we are buying,” he said. “Certainly we are looking at the Gulf as our main supply.”