Top EU diplomat seeks action against India on Russian oil ahead of talks


NEW DELHI: Before his meeting with the Foreign Minister S JaishankarThe European Union’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, has called for action against India for circumventing Western sanctions against Moscow by “reselling” Russian oil to Europe as refined fuels – a view the oil ministry said recently “shows a lack of understanding.” for global supply and demand.’ Dynamism and India’s long history as a major exporter of refined products’.
“If diesel or petrol enters Europe from India and is produced with Russian oil, it is certainly circumvention of sanctions and member states must take action,” the Financial Times quoted Borrell as saying.
“It is normal for India to buy Russian oil. And if, thanks to our restrictions on the price of oil, India can buy that oil much cheaper, then the less money Russia gets, the better… But if they use that to be a center where Russian oil is refined and by-products are processed are being sold to us…we must act,” the British newspaper quoted him as saying.
Borrell told the newspaper he would raise the issue at his scheduled meeting with Jaishankar on Tuesday. The comments come ahead of the India-EU Trade and Technology Council meeting late Tuesday.
Speaking at the meeting, Jaishankar said the challenge is to simultaneously meet the twin demands of responsible growth and de-risking the global economy. “That means promoting resilient and reliable supply chains and additional drivers for global production and growth. It means ensuring trust and transparency in the digital realm, including cross-border flows. “It means promoting low-carbon growth while making sure it doesn’t create critical vulnerabilities,” he said.
However, this is the first time an EU official has taken a stand against India over its increasing imports of Russian crude oil (mostly at discount prices) and exports of petroleum products. Borrell’s testimony underscores growing Western outrage over the issue, fueled by the fact that the Finnish-registered Center for Energy and Air Research recently called India a “laundromat” for Russian oil.
The oil ministry had strongly objected to the report, and in a series of tweets reiterated India’s consistent stance on the issue. “As a sovereign country, India is free under international law to import or export goods and goods,” it said.
Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at a recent media event that India has “no concerns” about where the oil is coming from. “Our greatest commitment is to our citizens.”
From less than 1% before Moscow invaded Ukraine, Russia has become India’s largest oil supplier, surpassing combined supplies from Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the largest suppliers over the past decade, while refiners gobble up discounted barrels that the West shuns .
On exports, the ministry said: “As the largest democracy and a country governed by the rule of law, companies in India are free to conduct their business in accordance with the law and the government places no restrictions on their legitimate business activities.”
On the western price cap, the ministry said: “Oil imports below $60 from Russia or elsewhere not subject to any international embargo.” There is also no self-embargo by the “coalition country” on the purchase of diesel from refineries around the world.”
India has the fourth largest refining capacity in the world. Private refiners Reliance Industries Ltd and Rosneft-backed Nayara are major exporters of refined products. According to the analytics firm, India has emerged as Europe’s top product supplier. Exports are expected to exceed 360,000 barrels per day Kpler.

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