India not violating sanctions, but Russian oil deal could place it on ‘wrong side of history’: US

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India not violating sanctions, but Russian oil deal could place it on ‘wrong side of history’: US

Amid soaring tensions between Russia and the West, the United States has said that India buying discounted Russian crude oil would not be a violation of the sanctions but such a decision could put New Delhi on the wrong side of history.

Asked about the reports of India considering a Russian offer to buy crude oil and other commodities at discount prices a week after the US banned all Russian energy imports, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Joe Biden administration’s message would be for countries to abide by US sanctions.

“I don’t believe this would be violating that, but also think about where you want to stand,” Psaki said. “When the history books are written at this moment in time, support for Russia – the Russian leadership – is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact.”

According to Reuters, India is planning to purchase discounted crude oil and related commodities from Russia with payment via rupee-rouble transaction amid tough sanctions from the US. Notably, the Russian economy is in shambles impacting its oil-gas export amid Russia-Ukraine war and sanctions imposed by the West, Europe against Moscow.

The Russian economy is facing its worst since 1991. Moscow has urged India to increase its investments after sanctions over its oil-gas exports.

Russia Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak earlier in a statement had said that Moscow’s oil and petroleum product exports to India have approached $1 billion and there are opportunities to increase it further.

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Meanwhile, Union Minister for Petroleum Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday informed Rajya Sabha that the government is looking for an alternate market for fuel purchase amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

READ MORE: India may consider buying crude oil from Russia at discounted rate: Reports

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