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US Will ‘Allow’ India to Buy Russian Oil, Threatens Sanctions If New Delhi Buys Too Much: Report

© AFP 2023 / SAM PANTHAKY Indian Oil Refinery of Essar Oil at Vadinar village, near Jamnagar, some 380 kms
Indian Oil Refinery of Essar Oil at Vadinar village, near Jamnagar, some 380 kms - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
The position taken by India regarding Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has provoked disappointment from its former western colonial masters, with New Delhi calling for a cessation of hostilities, but refusing to join the West in condemning Moscow and declining to halt trade.
India will be “allowed” to buy Russian energy resources, but will face a “great risk” if it fails to comply with western sanctions, a senior Biden administration official has warned.
“The US has no objection to India buying Russian oil provided it buys it at a discount, without significantly increasing from previous years. Some increase is allowed,” the unnamed official told Reuters.

“Whatever they are paying, whatever they are doing, needs to be in compliance with sanctions. If not they are exposing themselves to a great risk. As long as they are compliant with sanctions and not significantly raising purchases, we are okay,” the official added.

The anonymous official did not elaborate on whether this “great risk” might mean US secondary sanctions, nor what precisely would constitute a “significant” rise in the purchase of Russian energy.

“We, over the next several days and weeks, are going to be stepping up the enforcement of sanctions. We are telling everybody, everywhere around the world to ensure you are compliant with sanctions…this is the message to everyone,” the official said.

India has taken advantage of spot deals on Russian oil in recent weeks, buying more than 13 million barrels of Russian crude over the past month – just a few million barrels short of the estimated 16 million barrels New Delhi bought from Russia throughout all of 2021.
A US State Department spokesman has said Washington is “engaging” India and other countries “on the importance of a strong collective action, including strong sanctions” to put pressure on Moscow amid its military operation in Ukraine.
US and Australian officials expressed "deep disappointment" with New Delhi on Thursday over its ongoing talks with Moscow on a ruble-rupee payment mechanism in trade, which would allow India to dodge sanctions. Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan promised to “continue working with India” to chip away at its independent position on the Ukraine crisis.
Lavrov Jaishankar briefing - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
‘Deeply Disappointing’: US, Australia Slam India for Proposed Sanctions-Averting Deal with Russia
Last week, President Biden rebuked India for its “somewhat shaky” response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Indian officials responded by pointing to western hypocrisy of continuing to buy Russian oil and gas while trying to press New Delhi into shunning Russian energy supplies.
US and European officials have expressed consternation about how India, Pakistan and other non-western countries have responded to the Ukraine calamity, including over the way regional rivals New Delhi and Islamabad, who rarely agree on anything, jointly abstained from condemning Russia at the UN General Assembly. Earlier this month, Pakistani President Imran Khan slammed western envoys calling on Pakistan to denounce the Russian operation in Ukraine. “What do you think of us? Are we your slaves … that whatever you say, we will do?” Khan asked.
Indian officials expressed similar anger. Last week, a planned trip by a high-powered delegation of senior UK lawmakers including Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to New Delhi and Rajasthan was cancelled after the Indian government refused to meet them.
Girls during sunflower flowering on a field near Simferopol district, Crimea - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2022
India Places Orders for Russian Sunflower Oil at Record Price to Replace Shortfall from Ukraine
India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Vietnam and dozens of countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America have refused to cut ties with Moscow or stop doing business with Russian companies over the situation in Ukraine.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to travel to New Delhi on Friday to meet with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and discuss the ruble-rupee payment scheme, the supply of spare parts for India’s Russia-sourced military equipment, Arctic investment, and other topics.
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