Sri Lankan Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera announced on Sunday that the country’s petrol reserve has only 4,000 tonnes remaining, barely enough for a day’s worth of consumption.
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has since then declared his intentions to purchase Russian oil and will soon send a delegation to Moscow in order to manage the problem.
“We would take Russian oil. I think already Russian oil has come to Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe told the Russian News Agency TASS (TASS).
Wickremesinghe recently told news outlet Al Jazeera that the fuel shortage in the country is expected to last until July 22, the date of the estimated arrival of the next oil shipment to the country.
Wickremesinghe expressed that the fuel shortage is a “Big setback to the economy and has caused lot of hardship to people,” and that the shortage of the dollar currency in the country has contributed to the issue.
“We have been taking steps since then especially to get gas which will be available in the next few days, diesel and furnace oil as well,” said Wickremesinghe.
Meanwhile, a new round of negotiations on a $3 billion bail-out package for Sri Lanka was completed last Thursday by a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The staff team and the authorities made significant progress on defining a macroeconomic and structural policy package. The discussions will continue virtually with a view to reaching a staff-level agreement on the EFF arrangement in the near term,” read part of the IMF team’s statement.
In order to demand petrol and fuel, protesters have blocked major roads, and television stations have shown people fighting in some neighborhoods over scarce supplies.
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