Bandula wants to buy Russian fuel
Minister of Transport and Highways and Minister of Mass Media Bandula Gunawardena said in an interview with Russia’s Sputnik news agency that the Sri Lankan authorities are continuing discussions with Russia regarding obtaining a loan for the purchase of fuel from Russia.
He also said Sri Lanka is slowly recovering from the economic and foreign exchange crisis. Minister Bandula Gunawardena has also mentioned that he expects a lot of support from Russia and that there is positive progress in the discussions regarding obtaining the loan. Minister Bandula Gunawardena also stated that the former President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to give a loan to Sri Lanka to buy oil from Russia and to get relief from the fuel crisis in the country.
In the interview, Minister Bandula Gunawardena stated that the Sri Lankan authorities are in discussions with the Russian authorities about the possibility of connecting with the Russian payment system known as MIR, and discussions are also underway between the central banks of the two countries.
Minister Gunawardena has stated that Russian tourists coming to Sri Lanka will be allowed to use Russian credit and debit cards when connected to the Russian payment system, as Russian nationals cannot use Mastercard and Visa cards due to the sanctions imposed on Russia. He has indicated that this will be announced after receiving approval from the Central Bank.
Meanwhile, , Russia’s ‘Today’ news agency reports that he, in an interview with Riya Novasti news agency, apologized for the detention of an Aeroflot flight in Sri Lanka.
Minister Bandula Gunawardena has stated in the interview that the detention of the Aeroflot aircraft in Sri Lanka on a court order was an unfortunate incident and a serious mistake, and the Sri Lankan authorities have apologized for it. Minister Bandula Gunawardena has said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and the Sri Lankan government will ensure that nothing like it would happen again and there was no need to arrest any aircraft in Sri Lanka.
He has indicated that there is hope that flights between Sri Lanka and Russia will start by mid-October.
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