- The United States does not intend to sanction India over its continued purchase of Russian oil, senior American officials have said, calling New Delhi one of their most “consequential” partners.
- Ahead of a week-long visit to India by U.S. Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt, when the response to the war in Ukraine will be on the agenda
- India’s purchase of Russian Urals crude oil was at rates below the “price cap” of $60 set by G-7 countries in December, and that assisted the U.S.’s twin goals of ensuring there was enough oil in the market and not giving Russia a premium price for its exports.
- “Even though India is not a participant in the price cap coalition, India has effectively used its negotiating leverage, which it derives from the price cap and the fact that large portions of the global markets are no longer accessible to Russia, to drive down the price that it pays for Russian crude.
Rising oil imports
- Mr. Pyatt, who was part of a briefing call with Indian journalists about his visit to India next week, said that he would travel to Mumbai, Pune and Delhi to advance the strategic energy relationship and discuss plans for energy transition to renewables.
- India and the U.S. “do not always share the same policy approaches” with regard to Russia and Ukraine, the two countries share a commitment to “upholding the international rules-based order that is founded on respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty”.
- Despite several calls to reduce oil purchases from Russia, the Indian government has repeatedly asserted that it will buy oil from “wherever” it needs to.
- According to the latest figures for January, India has imported around 1.27 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian Urals oil, a 30-fold jump from last January when it was around 40,000 bpd.
- Russia, which was earlier the 17th biggest oil supplier to India, has become the highest exporter for the past few months. It now accounts for about 28% of India’s oil imports, up from 0.2% before the invasion of Ukraine.
No secondary sanction
When asked, the American officials rejected the calls by the senior Ukrainian lawmaker and head of its Foreign Relations Committee, Oleksandr Merezhko, for secondary sanctions against countries such as China and India that were “financing the Russian economy and the Russian military machine”.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB