Radio Sputnik has discussed this with Pankaj Jha, professor of strategic studies at O.P. Jindal Global University at Sonipat, in northern Haryana state, India, who has also worked as Deputy Director with the National Security Council Secretariat in the Prime Minister's Office.
Sputnik: How justified is the US commanding tone towards New Delhi in regard to its dealings with Venezuela?
Pankaj Jha: It is basically unwanted and we have seen such kind of sanctions and demands from the US in the case of Iran and earlier also. So, it is nothing new for us and I think it is over-exceeding the basically bilateral ties to a certain extent.
Sputnik: Professor, and how would you assess the US unilateral decision to slap sanctions on Venezuela? How concerning is this for India, especially in the wake of sanctions against Iran, which is also India's trading partner?
Iran is one of the top five exporters of oil to India. And I believe Venezuela which comes fourth in the line the same strategy will be adopted. And I believe that there might be certain turndown with regard to imports but not substantial.
Sputnik: Venezuela is offering more oil to India in the wake of US pressure. How likely is New Delhi to continue buying Venezuelan energy despite US pressure?
Because state-owned refiners still do not import that much of amount of oil from Venezuela. However, how the state refiners and private refiners decide on the next course of action will depend on how the issue will be or the crisis will be panning out in future. And whether there can be a viable media to circumvent this US-imposed sanctions regime.
Sputnik: Professor, and how likely is India to be subject to secondary sanctions over trade with Venezuela? And what could India do to avoid these sanctions?
And secondly, given the fact that we do have a very slightly uncomfortable situation with regard to sudden trade tensions on across with China and also has certain tariffs which it has undertaken with India, I believe India will be ready for it. And it will be not too nice for the US to impose these secondary sanctions on India with regard to our trade with Venezuela because it is primarily oil. And given the fact that for India it is an election year, so any fluctuations in oil imports or other related aspects will have a very cascading effect on the electoral prospects of the current Prime Minister Modi, and he won't like to take this in a way.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Pankaj Jha and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.