The president of the bankrupt resort island of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said that in a conversation with Vladimir Putin, he asked his colleague for urgent fuel supplies on credit and the resumption of tourist flights between Moscow and Colombo. This would allow Sri Lanka to survive the unprecedented economic crisis, Firstpost reported.
The island nation suffered months of power outages, rampant inflation and acute food and gasoline shortages after it ran out of foreign currency to finance imports. The publication cited the words of the head of Sri Lanka on the results of negotiations with Putin: “We unanimously agreed that strengthening bilateral relations in sectors such as tourism, trade and culture is of paramount importance for strengthening the friendship that our two peoples share.”< /p>
As a reminder, Aeroflot suspended flights last month after the Colombo Supreme Commercial Court detained an Airbus owned by the Russian airline's fleet over a payment dispute (details here).
In May, Sri Lanka bought about 90,000 tons of Siberian oil through an intermediary in Dubai. The Indian Ocean country would buy more, but it ran out of dollars. At the same time, the United States and the European Union imposed an embargo on Russian oil in response to Russia's launch of a special operation in Ukraine.
Prior to the February events, Russia and Ukraine were one of the main sources of tourists for Sri Lanka. And now that the main tourist flow has dried up, Sri Lanka is experiencing the worst economic downturn since gaining independence from Britain in 1948. As a result, the government defaulted on $51 billion in foreign debt in April and is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for bailouts. At the same time, European countries, Australia and the United States “added fuel to the fire”, urging their citizens to avoid tourist trips to Sri Lanka due to the deepening crisis there.
Currently, the country has almost completely run out of gasoline and diesel, and some government offices and schools were closed in an attempt to conserve limited fuel supplies. The decision of the Russian side regarding the provision of fuel “on credit” and the opening of flights to the resorts of Sri Lanka has not yet been reported.
Earlier, Turprom wrote about the problem of Russian tourists with real estate in Turkey. For details, read the article “Russians got into trouble with apartments in Turkey: resorts are closed from foreigners.”
For those who care about a healthy lifestyle, we recommend reading: “A pill that breaks down 70% of alcohol in the body for hour”.