- 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.

'Serving Vested Interests’: India Slams Report Claiming It Wants a Discount on Russian Crude Imports

CC0 / / Oil rig
Oil rig - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.05.2022
India has refused to give up on its energy relationship with Moscow as oil prices soar in spite of criticism from US and European partners. India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar remarked last month that the volume of Russian crude that New Delhi sources in a month is less than what the EU buys from Moscow “in an afternoon”.
The Indian government has strongly criticised a recent news report about New Delhi’s energy relationship with Moscow, claiming that the article in question is “part of a premeditated attempt to further destabilise an already fragile global oil market”.
New Delhi further stated that the article contributed towards "serving vested interests", including speculators, and would have a "negative impact" on global economic recovery.

“A recent article, following closely on the heels of a series of similar pieces by certain media platforms, makes conjectures and tries to sensationalise the routine purchase of crude oil by Indian oil companies from Russia based on concocted source-based stories,” India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said in a press statement on Wednesday.

Although New Delhi hasn’t directly named the publisher, the apparent reference seems to be to US-headquartered Bloomberg. The publication reported earlier in the day that India’s state-run oil companies have been seeking Russian crude at a heavily discounted price of $70 per barrel. The controversial report cites anonymous sources.
Brent Crude is at present trading at more than $106 a barrel and is predicted to rise further on the back of a decision by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to ban Russian oil imports into the 27-nation bloc as part of the sixth phase of sanctions against Moscow because of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Further, the Bloomberg article also claims that India has proposed to jack up its overall crude imports from Russia to 15 million barrels a month (500,000 barrels a day) should Moscow agree to the offer of pricing its crude below $70 a barrel.
India’s petroleum ministry has reiterated that crude imports from Russia constitute only a fraction of its overall imports, also pointing out that most of New Delhi’s crude imports are sourced from west Asian countries.
“In the recent past, the USA has become a major crude oil source for India, supplying almost $13 billion of energy imports, and almost 7.3 percent of market share of crude oil imports,” it added.
India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, sources around 85 percent of its crude supplies from foreign countries.
The Indian statement reminded the world about India’s “enormous” energy needs, which amount to around 5 million barrels a day.
The official statement also urged everyone to refrain from “politicising” India’s legitimate energy transactions, noting that outbound energy exports from Russia had yet to be sanctioned by the US, EU and other western allies.
The Indian statement went on to express concern over the recent spike in crude prices.

“India has been constrained to pay ever-increasing prices charged by certain oil suppliers, which is leading India to diversify its sources of procurement. Meanwhile, energy demand in India remains inelastic,” said the press statement, noting that several nations in New Delhi’s neighbourhood were already feeling the pinch of rising crude prices, a reference to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

“If suddenly, now, as a huge importer of crude oil, India pulls back on its diversified sources, concentrating on the remaining, in an already constrained market, it will lead to further volatility and instability, jacking up international prices,” the ministry statement reckoned.
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