Indian diplomats told Sputnik news agency “India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicized and countries self-sufficient in oil or those importing from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading”.
India’s public sector business Indian Oil has bought around three million barrels of crude oil after Russia offered a deep discount compared with Brent crude. White House press secretary Jen Psaki had warned New Delhi that buying Russian oil would put it on the wrong side of history.
Indian government sources added that the jump in oil prices since the Ukraine conflict has increased the need to take advantage of competitive sourcing.
According to commodities data and analytic firm Kpler, India’s acquisition from Russia touched 360,000 barrels a day of oil in March so far, nearly four times the 2021 average.
Citing large importers of Russian oil and gas such as Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, the sources noted that recent western sanctions on Moscow have exemptions to avoid the impact on energy imports from Russia.
“Russian banks that are the main channel for European Union payments for Russian energy imports have not been excluded from SWIFT,” the sources emphasised, sidestepping concerns expressed by several analysts about how the oil purchase from Russia is paid for.