India Signals It Will Continue to Buy Oil From Russia

The pulse | Economy | South Asia

Foreign Minister Jaishankar pointed out that the EU is buying more fossil fuels from Russia than India.

India says it will continue to buy oil from Russia

Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock pose for a photo during their meeting in New Delhi, India, Monday, December 5, 2022.

Credit: Twitter/Dr. Saint Jaishankar

India will prioritize its own energy needs and continue to buy oil from Russia, its foreign minister said on Monday, as Western governments pressure Moscow with a price cap to squeeze its profits from oil exports.

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar made the remarks after holding talks with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock over bilateral relations and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Jaishankar said it is not right for European countries to prioritize their energy needs, but rather “ask India to do something else.”

“Europe will make the decisions it will make. It is their right, ”he told reporters.

India has so far not committed to the $60 a barrel price cap for Russian oil set by the Group of Seven major industrialized countries and the European Union, which is expected to take effect on Monday. The move is an attempt by Western governments to cap profits from fossil fuels that support Moscow’s budget, its military and its invasion of Ukraine, while avoiding a possible price spike if Russia’s oil is withdrawn. suddenly from the world market.

Jaishankar did not make any direct reference to the maximum price, but said the European Union was importing more fossil fuels from Russia than from India. Indian officials have defended buying oil from Russia, saying the lower price benefits India.

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Since the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, India has steadily increased its purchases of discounted Russian oil. Indian imports of Russian oil hit a record in October, with Russia becoming India’s top oil supplier in terms of barrels per day, the Press Trust of India news agency said, citing data from the Vortexa energy tracker.

India and Russia have close relations and New Delhi has not supported Western sanctions against Moscow, despite repeatedly calling for an “immediate cessation of violence” in Ukraine. India, also a major market for Russian-made weapons, has so far refrained from UN resolutions criticizing Moscow’s war.

Jaishankar and Baerbock, who is in India on a two-day visit, also discussed trade diversification between the two countries, the global consequences of Russia’s war on Ukraine and cooperation on energy transition away from fossil fuels.

The two countries also signed a migration and mobility partnership, which will make it easier for people to study, research and work in each other’s country.

Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe and more than 1,700 German companies operate in India. German investments in India are mainly concentrated in transport, electrical equipment, construction, trade and automobiles.

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