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Indian Refiners Make Fresh Purchase of Russian Oil Despite US Warning

© Sputnik / Sergey Krasnoukhov / Go to the mediabankFreight ferry line connecting the ports of Kholmsk, Sakhalin and Vanino, Khabarovsk Territory
Freight ferry line connecting the ports of Kholmsk, Sakhalin and Vanino, Khabarovsk Territory - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2022
India's state oil firm has increased the purchase of Russian Urals as Moscow is offering the oil at a discounted price following Western sanctions. The US and its allies imposed sanctions on Russia in response to the military operation in Ukraine.
India's ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), with a 20% stake in the Sakhalin-1 project, has sold crude oil to state refiners Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) in a fresh tender issued by the company last week.
This is the first time HPCL and BPCL have purchased Sokol crude from Russia. Sources in New Delhi told Sputnik that the firms secured the cargo at a discounted price. The payment will be made in Indian rupees to the OVL.
The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL), the country's largest refiner, purchased six million barrels of Russian Urals in March alone. Moscow has offered a roughly 30% discount compared to international prices.
Industry sources also told Sputnik that Nayara Energy, the country's second-largest refiner, has placed an order to purchase 1.8 million barrels of Russian crude oil. The delivery is expected in May this year.

India has made it clear to Western nations that "countries with oil self-sufficiency or those importing themselves from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading".

"India has to keep focusing on the competitive energy source", the Indian government conveyed last week.

Rupee-Ruble Mechanism During Lavrov Visit

Sources also told Sputnik that a detailed discussion between the two countries related to a rupee-ruble payment mechanism would be held during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to New Delhi later this week.
The rupee-ruble mechanism will boost energy ties between the two countries, as Russia could start offering steel-making and thermal coal at discounted rates.
The Reserve Bank of India met three Russian banks — Sberbank, VTB, and Gazprom Bank — and more such meetings with officials of these banks will be held this week.
Western sanctions against Russia for its special military operation to demilitarise and "de-Nazify" Ukraine have hit Russian energy sales, resulting in deep discount offers to energy buyers such as China and India that are not following the unilateral sanctions.
India and China have called for an end to the violence in Ukraine and urged that the Ukrainian issue be solved diplomatically.
The Biden administration said on 14 March that New Delhi would not be violating US sanctions by purchasing discounted Russian oil, but warned that "support for the Russian leadership is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact".
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