Bharat Express

Amid Objections In Europe, India Increases Its Purchase Of Russian Crude Oil To a New High

“I really don’t see the basis for your question,” Jaishankar.


"I really don't see the basis for your question," Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: India took issue with European Union policy chief Joseph Borrell’s call for action against Indian refined products made from Russian crude, arguing that such a move would be against the EU’s own rules.

Yet Another High Record

Since the West imposed harsh sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, India’s oil imports from that country have increased to nearly monthly highs. For the sixth consecutive month in April, Russia continued to be India’s top oil supplier, followed by Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

While some nations, including EU member states, have avoided buying Russian oil, India has been on a buying spree.

In April, India imported roughly 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil, an increase of 4.4% from March. According to a Reuters report that used data from trade sources, this represents about two-fifths of the country’s total purchases.

As Indian Oil Corp, the top refiner in the nation, increased the size of its annual import agreement with Rosneft, oil imports from Russia also increased.

The proportion of oil from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia increased due to higher imports, reaching 43.6% of India’s total 4.81 million bpd of oil imports last month.
violation of the rules: Borrell

On May 16,

Borrell claimed that Brussels was aware of the large-scale purchases of Russian crude oil by Indian refiners who then transform it into goods for sale in Europe.

“If diesel or gasoline is entering Europe … coming from India and being produced with Russian oil, that is certainly a circumvention of sanctions and member states have to take measures,” said Borrell.

It’s not Russian oil anymore: Jaishankar

Responding to a question at a media briefing on Borrell’s comments, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said the top EU official should take a look at the regulations that have been passed by his own organisation.

“I really don’t see the basis for your question because my understanding of the (European) Council regulations is that if Russian crude is substantially transformed in a third country, then it’s not treated as Russian any more,” Jaishankar said.

“I would urge you to look at Council regulation 833/2014,” Jaishankar added, referring to a EU regulation aimed at dealing with issues relating to ban on the import of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia.

Balancing act

The West has been uncomfortable as India’s economic ties with Russia have significantly increased over the past year, in large part because of its purchase of discounted Russian oil.

Westerners have double standards. Scholz, the German chancellor, provides a reality check and cites India as an example.

India has adamantly and unapologetically defended its stance, asserting that it will put its own interests first despite muted criticism from many quarters.

Even though it has repeatedly issued statements denouncing the war and pushed for a peaceful resolution through dialogue and diplomacy, India has also refused to support any UN resolution that denounces the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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(With inputs from agencies)