India is buying Russian oil despite sanctions pressure


The state Indian Oil Corp. bought 3 million barrels of crude oil from Russia earlier this week to meet its energy needs, defying Western pressure to avoid such purchases, an Indian government official said on Friday.

The official said India has not imposed sanctions on buying oil and will seek to buy more from Russia, despite calls from the US and other countries.

The officer spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The United States, Britain and other Western countries are urging India to avoid buying Russian oil and gas. Indian media reports said Russia is offering a discount on oil purchases of 20% below global reference prices.

These prices have risen sharply in recent weeks, putting a huge strain on countries like India, which imports 85% of the oil it consumes. Demand is expected to rise 8.2% this year to 5.15 million barrels a day as the economy recovers from the devastation caused by the pandemic.

White House press secretary Jennifer Psaki said earlier this week that Indian purchases of Russian oil would not violate US sanctions, but urged India to “think about where you want to be when history books are written.”

Asked by reporters whether India is buying oil from Russia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said many European countries import Russian oil and gas.

“India imports most of its oil needs. We explore all possibilities in the global energy market. I don’t think Russia was a major oil supplier for India,” Bagchi said.

Iraq is India’s top supplier with a 27% share. Saudi Arabia is second at around 17%, followed by the United Arab Emirates at 13% and the US at 9%, Press Trust of India news agency reported. India is buying Russian oil despite sanctions pressure

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