New Delhi: India’s dependence on Russian oil and continuous import from the nation amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine may not have gone down well with Russia. “A significant increase in Russian oil imports by India could expose New Delhi to a ‘great risk’ as the United States prepares to step up enforcement of sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine,” said senior US administration official, according to Reuters.
What measures are expected from the US on oil import?
It is to be noted that the current US sanctions against Russia do not stop other countries from buying Russian oil. However, the latest warning raises doubts that Washington may attempt to restrict other countries’ purchases to normal levels.
The comment of the US official comes amid two-day visit of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to New Delhi. US deputy national security adviser for economics Daleep Singh is also visiting India.
Indian refiners remain the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer. Refiners have been buying Russian oil through spot tenders since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 taking advantage of deep discounts as other buyers back away.
India has purchased at least 13 million barrels of Russian oil since February 24, compared with nearly 16 million barrels in all of 2021.
“US has no objection to India buying Russian oil provided it buys it at discount, without significantly increasing from previous years,” said the source of Reuters. “Some increase is allowed,” added the source.
The State Department is in the know how about talks between Russia and India concerning the purchase of oil, a spokesperson said. “We continue to engage our partners in India and around the world on the importance of a strong collective action, including strong sanctions, to press the Kremlin to end its devastating war of choice against Ukraine as soon as possible,” the spokesperson said.