Sri Lanka’s President Has Asked Russia’s Vladimir Putin For Assistance In Purchasing Petroleum

Sri Lanka’s president says he has asked Russia’s Vladimir Putin for assistance in importing fuel as the country faces its greatest economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa claimed he and Putin had a “very productive” conversation.

It comes after Sri Lanka’s energy minister warned over the weekend that the country would run out of gasoline shortly. Hundreds of people flocked to the streets of Colombo on Wednesday to protest the government.

“I requested an offer of credit support to import fuel,” Mr Rajapaksa tweeted in reference to his conversation with the Russian leader.

Rajapaksa also stated that he had “humbly requested” that flights between Moscow and Colombo restart after the Russian flag airline Aeroflot ceased service last month.

“We unanimously agreed that strengthening bilateral relations in sectors such as tourism, trade and culture was paramount in reinforcing the friendship our two nations share,” he added.

The country has already purchased oil from Russia in recent months to assist supplement fuel supplies throughout the crisis, and the government has indicated a willingness to purchase more from the energy-rich country.

Rajapaksa’s efforts to settle Sri Lanka’s greatest economic crisis in more than 70 years, including seeking financial assistance from India and China, have so far failed to halt weeks of fuel, power, food, and other vital items shortages.

Kanchana Wijesekera, the energy minister, said on Sunday that the country only had enough petrol for less than a day under normal demand.

In an effort to preserve its decreasing fuel inventories, officials banned sales of gasoline and diesel for non-essential cars last week.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka hiked its main interest rates by one percentage point on Thursday to combat the country’s rising living costs.

The loan rate was hiked to 15.5 per cent, while the deposit rate was raised to 14.5 per cent, the highest in 21 years.

It comes as yearly inflation reached a new high of 54.6 percent in June, with food prices rising by more than 80 percent.

Hundreds of protestors had gathered near the parliament building in Colombo the day before, calling for the “final push” to depose Mr Rajapaksa’s government.

Because of the country’s civil upheaval, the UK renewed its advisory against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka this week.

The Foreign Office cautioned tourists that “demonstrations, blockages, and violent unrest could occur at any time.”

Visiting nations against Foreign Office advice is likely to void one’s travel insurance, according to the Association of British Insurers.

(Adapted from

Categories: Economy & Finance, Geopolitics, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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