India buys 3 million barrels of Russian oil: report
India’s state-run oil company purchased 3 million barrels of Russian crude this week as numerous other nations bar such imports due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, The Associated Press reported on Friday.
Indian Oil Corp. made the purchase despite international pressure, led by the U.S. and other Western nations, to freeze Russia out of the global energy market over the incursion. India, the world’s largest democracy, imports about 85 percent of the oil it uses.
The largest portion of India’s oil, 27 percent, comes from Iraq, followed by Saudi Arabia with 17 percent, the United Arab Emirates with 13 percent and the U.S. at 9 percent.
The U.S. and much of Europe have already applied heavy sanctions to Russia along with the U.S.’s energy import ban.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said Indian purchases of Russian oil would not run afoul of U.S. sanctions, but that Indian leaders should “think about where [they] want to stand when history books are written.”
“India imports most of its oil requirements. We are exploring all possibilities in the global energy market. I don’t think Russia has been a major oil supplier to India,” said Arindam Bagchim, a spokesman for India’s External Affairs Ministry.
The AP’s report comes days after Reuters reported that Indian officials were considering a purchase of deeply discounted Russian oil.
The country previously reached an agreement with the U.S. to release 3.5 million barrels from its reserves, as part of coordinated release amid international spikes in gas prices. India has about 31 million barrels of oil in its emergency reserves currently.
India imported the third-most crude oil of any country in 2020, $64.6 billion worth. Only China, which imported $176.3 billion, and the U.S., which imported $81.8 billion, outrank it.
The Hill has reached out to the Indian External Affairs Ministry for comment.
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