India not violating any sanctions by importing oil from Russia: United States

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Image Source : PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US President Joe Biden during the India-US virtual summit, in New Delhi. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries are also seen.

Highlights

  • US says India is not violating any sanctions by importing oil from Russia
  • The statement came after PM Modi-Joe Biden’s virtual meeting
  • White House said that the talks between two leader were constructive

India is not violating any sanctions by importing oil from Russia, the United States said on Monday as the two leaders — PM Modi and President Joe Biden — held a virtual meeting on global challenges, Ukraine war, among a host of other issues.

The White House press secretary Jen Psaki in a press briefing made this statement and added that PM Modi-Biden talks were ‘constructive’.

The statement from the United States could be seen as a major shift in its tone over India’s move to import oil from Russia, who was earlier saying that it wouldn’t be for India’s best interests to increase energy imports from Moscow.

US said that energy imports from Russia are not banned or part of sanctions, therefore, New Delhi is not violating US sanctions. 

“This was a constructive call, it was a productive call. It’s a relationship that is vitally important to the United States and to the President. I would not see it as an adversarial call,” White House spokesperson said. 

Further speaking on India buying Russian oil and whether Washington has limit New Delhi on energy imports, the White House spokesperson said that energy imports are not banned and they don’t violate our sanctions. “We certainly recognise that every country is going to take a step in their interest.”

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Though, Psaki did mention in the press briefing that Biden told PM Modi it’s not in India’s interest to increase every import from Russia.

Responding to media questions whether Joe Biden has asked PM Modi not to increase oil purchases from Russia, Psaki said, “I will let PM Modi and Indians speak on that. It’s only 1-2 per cent at present, they export 10 per cent from the United States. It is no violation of any sanctions or anything along those lines.”

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