- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022 Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

West Playing 'Double Game' by Calling on Delhi to Stop Trade With Russia, Indian FM Agrees With MP

© REUTERS / ANUSHREE FADNAVISActivists of Hindu Sena, a Hindu right-wing group, hold placards and flags as they take part in a march in support of Russia, New Delhi, India, March 6, 2022
Activists of Hindu Sena, a Hindu right-wing group, hold placards and flags as they take part in a march in support of Russia,  New Delhi, India, March 6, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.03.2022
About half of Russia’s net exports of crude oil and condensate and 75 percent of natural gas head to Europe, the US Energy Information Administration claims. Furthermore, Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned that the EU will be plunged into recession if it accedes to the US' and others' calls for an immediate end to Russian energy imports.
Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Thursday that he “shared” concerns, expressed by an Indian parliamentarian, about western allies playing a “double game” with India by asking the south Asian country to draw down its energy ties with Russia.

"I would like to point out that the West is playing a double game. They continue to import petroleum. All Europe is importing petroleum [from Russia] and they lecture us that we shouldn’t trade with them,” Indian parliamentarian Naresh Gujral, a member of regional party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said in Parliament during Question Hour.

Gujral went on to ask whether India was contemplating returning to the Cold War-era “rupee trade” with Russia, so that Indian exports aren’t “hurt” and New Delhi could continue to trade with Moscow despite western economic sanctions against Moscow.
In his reply to the question, Jaishankar said that the Indian government was “examining various options” to maintain existing commercial relations with Russia.
The Indian foreign minister informed Parliament that a group comprising officials from different ministries was looking at various aspects of the trade ties between India and Russia, including the question of rupee trade.

“As regards the oil trade that the honourable member mentioned, I would like to take the opportunity to inform the house that we import very little oil from Russia - less than 1 percent of our imports,” Jaishankar continued.

He also sadi that “other countries import between 10 and 20 times the amount of oil that we do”.
“I share the honourable member’s observations on the matter,” Jaishankar concluded his response.
The remarks by the chief Indian diplomat come just a couple of days after US President Joe Biden publicly called out India over its “shaky response” to the Ukraine crisis.
While addressing a chief executive officer roundtable at the White House this week, Biden praised the "united response" which the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies and the US’ partners in the Pacific region had made to Russia's special operation in Ukraine.
“The Quad is - with the possible exception of India being somewhat shaky on some of this - but Japan has been extremely strong, so has Australia, in dealing with Putin’s aggression. We presented a united front throughout NATO and the Pacific,” Biden said.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.03.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
Indian Ex-PM Adviser: Our Position on Ukraine Not Shaky But ‘Firm’, Biden’s Remarks ‘Uncalled For’
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki also urged New Delhi against supporting Russia as the western allies push to isolate it economically, politically and culturally in retaliation to Moscow’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
Psaki was answering a question about reports that India had decided to increase its crude purchases from Moscow, which has offered energy products and commodities to Delhi at a cheaper price.
Psaki, however, admitted that sourcing more Russian oil by India won’t violate the US sanctions.
"But also think about where you want to stand when history books are written about this moment in time,” the US official added.

India is the world’s third-largest oil importer after the US and China, but nearly 85 percent of its crude needs are imported from overseas. More than 50 percent of India’s requirements are imported from Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but at least 7 percent is sourced from the US.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, launched a "special military operation" aimed at the "demilitarisation" and "de-Nazification" of Ukraine on 24 February. Moscow has said that it would cease its military action if Kiev enshrines a "neutral" status in its constitution and pledges that it would never join NATO.
After the Russia's operation began, a number of western states imposed sanctions against Moscow.
Besides economic sanctions, the US and some eastern European allies such as Poland, urged the EU to ban the imports of Russian oil and other energy products.
The US, which used to source around 4 percent of its oil from Russia, announced a ban on Russian crude and other energy imports this month.
“Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” Biden announced this month.
However, Washington’s insistence that EU allies completely cease their Russian imports has been met with little success in Europe, with nations such as Germany and Hungary warning that such a measure could have major economic implications and cause thousands of jobs to be lost.
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