Monday, July 18, 2022

Western Sanctions to Bring Third World ‘to Its Knees’, Not Russia - Sri Lankan PM


 Sri Lanka’s acting president, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Monday that Western sanctions introduced against Russia won’t bring it down to its knees, while third world countries will suffer.

“Do you think sanctions will help? It will only drag the prices up. […] Let us look at the sanctions that are being imposed and ask ourselves if this is necessary. The sanctions won’t bring Russia to its knees, but it will bring the rest of the third world to its knees,” he said at an international panel discussion on preventing hunger and famine as quoted by India’s Doordarshan TV channel.

According to the official, the sanctions affect such countries as Sri Lanka where food products are not generally accessible.

“Our issue in Sri Lanka is partly self-made and partly due to the global crisis,” he said, adding that “a global crisis and an internal crisis both have come together and brought us to a level where many estimate that as much as 6 million people are facing malnutrition.”

Overall, Wickremesinghe thinks that the Western anti-Russian sanctions and the events in Ukraine caused the global food and fuel crises.
P1. Sri Lanka has endured a months-long economic crisis that has seen rampant inflation and civil unrest. The country defaulted on its foreign debts for the first time in its history and its people have faced shortages of fuel, medicine and other essentials. According to the World Food Programme, nearly five million people, or 22 per cent of the population, need food aid. [South China Morning Post]
P2. Sri Lanka's acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said that country had almost concluded negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, a day after he declared a state of emergency in the island nation in an effort to head off unrest ahead of a vote in parliament later this week to elect a new president. Streets in capital Colombo remained calm on Monday morning, with traffic and pedestrians out on the streets.[South Asia Newsline]

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