Although the US and other countries may not agree with India purchasing Russian oil, they have accepted it because New Delhi has not taken a defensive stance and has instead made them understand the responsibility the government has to its citizens in the face of “unreasonably high” oil and gas prices, according to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
Jaishankar, who came to this city on Tuesday to take part in the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting, participated in a gathering where he got to know people from the Indian community.
“We are being very open and honest about our interests. I have a country that has a per capita income of two thousand dollars. These are not people who can afford higher energy prices,” Jaishankar said. He said it was his “obligation” and “moral duty” to ensure that the people in India got the best deal.
In light of Moscow’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, Jaishankar defended India’s decision to purchase Russian oil at a reduced price, claiming that many of India’s suppliers have switched over to Europe, which is purchasing less oil from Russia.
Since February 24, when Moscow moved soldiers into Ukraine, the US and European nations have slapped severe sanctions on Russia. India has increased its oil imports from Russia since the Ukraine war, despite condemnation from the west, and it still conducts business with Moscow.
According to a senior Indian government official, since April, India’s imports of crude oil from Russia have increased more than 50 times. As a result of refiners purchasing Russian crude available at a significant discount during the conflict in Ukraine, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India’s second-largest oil supplier in May, trailing only Iraq.
In a conversation with the diaspora, Jaishankar justified India’s choice to purchase Russian oil at a reduced price despite Moscow’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, claiming that many of India’s suppliers have switched their supplies to Europe, which is purchasing less oil from Russia.
Gas costs and oil prices are both “unreasonably high.” Because Europe is purchasing less oil from Russia, a large number of conventional suppliers to Asia are switching to Europe, he claimed.