In an interview, Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the West has tried to ‘weaponize’ Russian oil for ideological reasons.
On the fringes of India Energy Week on Thursday, Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told RT that his country will keep purchasing Russian oil as long as prices are reasonable. Ever since the Ukraine conflict began, New Dehli has increased its purchases of Russian crude by a large amount.
The Finance Committee of the Iraqi Parliament stated that they are calling to ditch the US dollar for oil trade.
Puri reports that the share of Russian oil in India’s fuel imports has increased from 0.2% to 30%–34% as of February 2022. “Imports of crude oil are the biggest item in our import basket. And equally, the export of petroleum products is the biggest item in our export basket. The minister clarified, “We will import from wherever we can and export to wherever we can.
Puri emphasized, however, that many nations—including those who have backed the sanctions imposed by the US on Moscow—remain engaged in buying Russian goods. [Some countries] decided to weaponize [oil] – for ideological reasons. Well and good. They didn’t stop all imports. They stopped crude oil imports, but they are continuing to import gas [from Russia]. They are continuing to import other critical minerals,” the minister pointed out.
Based on Kpler statistics assessed by The Independent, India purchased 1.75 million barrels of Russian crude per day on average in 2023. The site pointed out that last year saw record-high imports of refined oil from India to the European Union, indicating that customers most likely received unprecedented amounts of oil products that came from Russia through India.
When questioned about the fact that India’s imports of crude oil from Russia reached a 12-month low in January, Puri argued that “there is no such clock” and that the choice to purchase or not is largely made by the government and private enterprises that import oil and are influenced by price dynamics.
Puri is one of numerous high-ranking officials in the Narendra Modi administration who insist that, despite growing criticism from the West as a whole, India’s continuous purchases of Russian oil are motivated by “pragmatism.” The minister made this argument last month at the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland: India has a sizable population, and the government needs to make sure that millions of people are fed three times a day.