Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he is open to buying more oil from Russia to deal with the present crisis, although he is first looking at other options.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that Sri Lanka may be compelled to buy more oil from Russia as the government hunts desperately for fuel.
Premier Wickremesinghe said there is a lot of oil going around which can be sourced back informally to Iran or to Russia.
The Prime Minister added that sometimes authorities may not know what oil they are buying because of this issue.
However the Prime Minister assured that Sri Lanka is looking at the Gulf as its main supplier.
The Prime Minister also confirmed that Russia had offered wheat to Sri Lanka despite various sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warned that there will be a global shortage of food by the end of the year and will continue till 2024, owing to the Ukraine crisis.
The Prime Minister noted that the Ukraine crisis has impacted Sri Lanka’s economic contraction, and predicted that the impact on other countries could be seen by the end of the year.
Premier Wickremesinghe also indicated he would be willing to accept more financial help from China, despite Sri Lanka’s mounting debt.
Premier Wickremesinghe said the government needs to identify the projects required for economic recovery and take loans for those projects, whether it be from China or from others.
Premier Wickremesinghe said he is banking on a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund added that he doesn’t expect to see money from the package until October.
The Prime Minister said the government has been talking with China about restructuring its debts.
Beijing had earlier offered to lend the country more money but balked at cutting the debt, possibly out of concern that other borrowers would demand the same relief.
The Premier also acknowledged that Sri Lanka’s current predicament is of “its own making”.
Premier Wickremesinghe said he felt terrible watching his nation suffer, “both as a citizen and a prime minister.”
The Prime Minister said he hasn’t ever seen anything like this in Sri Lanka and didn’t think he ever would.