US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Sunday that “Russian aggression” in Ukraine may have been partly to blame for the turmoil in Sri Lanka.
The island nation has been in a state of unrest for several months, with food and fuel in short supply and prices skyrocketing. It escalated on Saturday as thousands of protesters stormed the president’s residence, forcing him to flee.
“We’re seeing the impact of this Russian aggression playing out everywhere. It may have contributed to the situation in Sri Lanka; we’re concerned about the implications around the world,” Blinken told reporters in Bangkok.
He claimed that “growing food insecurity” around the world “has been significantly exacerbated by the Russian aggression against Ukraine.” Blinken reiterated his call on Moscow to allow 20 million tons of grain to leave Ukrainian ports which, in his opinion, Russian forces are blocking as part of their military offensive.