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Russia to assist SL in overcoming energy crisis

Russia has received an appeal from Sri Lanka for help in overcoming the energy crisis raging in the country and is now considering the next steps to provide assistance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

Last Thursday, Sri Lankan Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told reporters that Colombo is counting on Moscow to help overcome the energy crisis and acute shortage of energy resources by receiving Russian oil supplies.

“We can confirm that such appeals have indeed been received by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Russian Embassy in Sri Lanka,” the ministry told Sputnik news agency.

The ministry added that the question of how Moscow can help Colombo is still under consideration and that it is too early to talk about concrete steps.

Months of enduring economic and energy crises triggered political unrest in Sri Lanka in recent weeks. Shortages of foreign Currency as tourist flows dried up during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the country from purchasing enough fuel. The pandemic has also negatively impacted remittances from Sri Lankans working abroad. There is an acute shortage of food and basic necessities, including fuel and gas, with many parts of the island nation facing continuous power blackouts. Sri Lanka’s external debt is estimated at USD 51 billion.