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'US doesn't have sanctions against 3rd world countries on oil imports'

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“The US does not have sanctions against third world countries on import of oil," US ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives - Julie Chung has said.

She was speaking yesterday (07) during her first on-the-record in person interaction with newspapers since assuming office four months ago.

Ms. Chung had thus responded when asked to comment on Sri Lanka’s predicament that has forced it to approach countries such as Russia for urgent help.

In terms of reaching out to Russia, the US Ambassador said Sri Lanka has to make its own decisions on how it deals with each country as part of diplomatic relations.

“It is not up to the US or any other to tell Sri Lanka how to interact with other governments," she has said.

“Sri Lanka has to determine what it wants if they decide whether Russia is a reliable partner that actually brings benefits to its people,” she said. “We understand Sri Lanka has fuel needs and the Government will go to any sources.”

“The US does not have sanctions against third world countries on import of oil. We have imposed sanctions against import of oil from Russia to the US. However, Sri Lanka should be aware of us and take into consideration our sanctions globally on Russian banks, logistics, transportation and financing. Sri Lanka must also bear in mind the fact that President Putin has initiated a brutal, unprovoked and unjustified attack on a sovereign country - Ukraine,: she has further said.

The ambassador also dismissed the misconception that it and the broader international community are awaiting a regime change to extend larger support to crisis-hit Sri Lanka, saying they are focused more on helping people and not an individual or a party.

Our support and friendship is not based on who is seated on the presidential chair or Prime Minister’s chair,” she said.

“It is not the Government Ministers or the elites who are standing in the fuel queues but the poorest of the poor. So our assistance and partnerships are to address the needs of the Sri Lankan people,” she added.

(Excerpts : ft.lk)

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