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As world condemns Russia, Sri Lanka turns to Moscow for oil

With Sri Lanka’s fuel shortage grinding the island to a halt, Colombo has sent a high level delegation to Russia in the hope of securing more fuel supplies despite the risk of international sanctions.

“Two ministers are going to Russia and I will go to Qatar tomorrow to see if we can arrange concessionary terms,” Sri Lankan energy minister Kanchana Wijesekera, told reporters on Sunday.

“There is an advantage for us if we cold buy oil directly from the Russian government or the Russian firms. There are talks going on,” he added.

His remarks came as Russia faces a barrage of sanctions and is being shunned by a range of Western countries over its actions in Ukraine, with many refraining from buying Russian oil or looking to wean itself off such purchase entirely.

However, Sri Lanka reportedly bought 90,000-metric-ton shipment of Russian crude to restart its only refinery last month.

And with many international suppliers and banks refusing to accept Sri Lankan letters of credit, the government is left with few choices.

In an interview with the Associated Press earlier this month, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister admitted his cash-strapped government will look to Moscow for oil, as an economic crisis in the country has left the island facing a dire fuel shortage.

“If we can get from any other sources, we will get from there. Otherwise (we) may have to go to Russia again,” he said.

Despite growing calls for Sri Lanka to condemn Russian aggression, Sri Lankan officials have instead sought to deepen ties with the state, including seeking economic assistance and abstaining on votes regarding Ukraine at the United Nations.

Read more on the growing ties between Russia and Sri Lanka below:

Desperate Sri Lanka looks to Russia for more oil, despite threat of sanctions

‘Overwhelming support for Sri Lanka’ – Colombo claims success at United Nations

Russia and Belarus rush to Sri Lanka’s defence at UN Human Rights Council

Russian tourists lead the way in Sri Lanka, including an oligarch or two

Sri Lanka abstains as UN overwhelming condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine

What are thermobaric and cluster bombs? A look at their use by the Sri Lankan army

As world slaps sanctions on Russia, Sri Lanka looks to deepen trade with Moscow

Sri Lanka ‘won’t take sides’ on Russia and Ukraine, as conflict intensifies

Putin and Rajapaksa exchange letters to celebrate ‘abiding friendship’

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