New Delhi, Mar 18 (EFE).- India Friday urged the West not to politicize possible crude oil purchases from Russia even as Western countries try to isolate Moscow with economic sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.
“India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicized,” a government official said in a statement on the background.
The official pointed out that India was “highly dependent” on imports as 85 percent of its crude oil requirement is bought abroad.
India imports five million barrels of crude a day.
The statement said Russia had been a marginal supplier of crude oil to India, with less than one percent of its requirement coming from that country since there is no government-to-government import arrangement.
Currently, most of India’s imports come from Iraq (23 percent), Saudi Arabia (18 percent), United Arab Emirates (11 percent), and the United States (7.3 percent).
Imports from the US might increase substantially in the current year, probably by around 11 percent, said the official.
“Geopolitical developments have posed significant challenges to our energy security. For obvious reasons, we have had to stop sourcing from Iran and Venezuela. Alternative sources have often come at a higher cost,” said the statement.
India has displayed a neutral stance in the Ukrainian conflict and avoided riling Russia due to its close military ties with Moscow, even as the United States-led West has imposed sanctions on the Kremlin.
Without naming anyone, the statement called out some countries “with oil-sufficiency” for advocating restrictive trading.
“India has to keep focusing on competitive energy sources. We welcome such offers from all producers. Indian traders too operate in global energy markets to explore best options,” the statement said.
The remarks came White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was Tuesday asked by a reporter about the possibility of India acquiring crude from Russia.
Psaki replied that countries should abide by the sanctions regime on Moscow, noting that she did not think India would be violating the sanction law by buying crude from Moscow.
“Think about where you want to stand when the history books are written at this moment. And support for the Russian leadership is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact,” Psaki said. EFE