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India’s Willingness To Buy Crude Oil From Russia Shouldn’t Be Politicised: Sources

Russia has offered discounted crude oil in the wake of the Western sanctions on it following its military aggression against Ukraine.

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PM Narendra Modi along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.(File photo) PTI

India's legitimate energy transactions should not be politicised and countries self-sufficient in oil or those themselves importing from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading, government sources said on Friday.

The assertion came amid some criticism against India over its position that it is open to buying discounted crude oil from Russia.

Sources said the jump in oil prices following the Ukraine conflict added to India's challenges and pressure for competitive sourcing has naturally increased.

They said Russia has been a marginal supplier of crude oil to India and it is less than one per cent of the country's requirement, adding there is no government-to-government arrangement for the import. 

"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," said a source.

Russia has offered discounted crude oil in the wake of the Western sanctions on it following its military aggression against Ukraine.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday did not rule out buying discounted crude oil from Russia saying India looks at all options at all points of time as a major importer of oil.

"India does import most of its oil requirements, it's met by imports. So we are always exploring all possibilities in global energy markets because of this situation that we face of importing our oil requirements," he said at a media briefing.

Bagchi said Russia has not been a major supplier of crude oil for India.

"Let me just highlight that a number of countries are doing so, especially in Europe, and for the moment, I will leave it at that.

"We are a major oil importer and we are looking at all options at all points, we need the energy," he said.

Asked whether the purchase can be made under the Rupee-Rouble arrangement, Bagchi said he was not aware of the exact details on the offers.

He said doing business in currencies Rupee and Rouble were in existence in past and that he was not aware of its current status.(With PTI inputs)
 

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