Rishikesh KumarAll materialsWrite to the authorIndia’s oil minister on Monday blasted western media for fomenting a “moral conflict” about buying Russian crude, noting that if India were to ditch Russian crude and went off the market, international prices would rise to $200 per barrel because of western sanctions.Russia overtook India’s traditional oil suppliers, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, in October, supplying 22 percent of the total oil the world’s third-largest consumer imported, data compiled by the energy cargo tracker Vortexa revealed on Wednesday.Iraq’s oil constitutes 20.5 percent of India’s total imports, and Saudi Arabia’s shipments slumped to 706,000 barrels per day – a 16 percent share, according to the London-based firm.On average, India bought 946,000 barrels per day from Russia in October – up from 876,000 barrels a day in September – setting a new record in Russian crude imports.
China remained the largest buyer of Russian seaborne crude with up to 1 million barrels of oil per day. At the same time, India, for the first time, overtook the European Union in imports of Russia's seaborne crude oil by 34 percent.
WorldIndia to Raise Issue of ‘Spillovers’ of Anti-Russia Sanctions During G-20 Presidency1 November, 14:00 GMTThe massive jump in Russian crude oil highlights India’s refusal to bow to western pressure, as Washington has consistently tried to push the Modi government to limit economic and trade ties with Moscow because of its special operation in Ukraine.India has told its western partners that Delhi would respond to the Ukrainian crisis and surrounding geopolitical tensions in line with its “national interests which are supreme”.
Asked by a CNN anchor whether Delhi feels any “moral qualms” about Russian crude imports, Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri responded, “absolutely none. There is no moral conflict. We don’t buy from X or Y. We buy whatever is available," he said, adding that the Indian government bears a moral duty to its citizens to ensure regular energy supplies, “whether using petrol or diesel”.
Countries such as India, China, and Turkey indicated that they are not likely to follow the US and Europe in setting a price cap on Russian oil, which the West plans to do from early December.