India to Continue to Purchase Russian Oil Amid Ongoing Talks on Discount - Report
16:45 GMT 25.05.2022 (Updated: 10:14 GMT 07.12.2022)
A senior US Treasury official is arriving in India on Thursday to persuade the Narendra Modi government to reduce purchases of Russian oil. New Delhi has so far refused to join Western sanctions on Russia, saying it prioritises its national interests.
India will continue to buy "cheap oil" from Russia, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a government official in New Delhi who said that negotiations on terms of a discount have not been finalised yet.
The official added that India's average crude basket price costs above $100 a barrel.
The report comes a day ahead of talks between Indian and US officials about Western sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow's military operation in Ukraine.
As part of a broader attempt by the US administration to convince its strategic partner India to follow Western sanctions,
Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Assistant Secretary Elizabeth Rosenberg will arrive in New Delhi on Thursday.
"It's important to talk to the parts of the world that are strong US partners on a whole host of other issues, and make sure we're in close contact about our sanctions regime and working together to crack down on any evasion opportunities or evasion activities", a Treasury Department spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Since March, India has increased oil purchases from Russia, data compiled by various financial services agencies showed. Russia replaced the US as the fourth-largest oil supplier to India in April by increasing its deliveries to 277,000 barrels per day from 66,000 barrels per day in the previous month.
However, the two governments have yet to verify claims about increasing oil shipments to India
. On Tuesday, India's oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that crude oil prices at $110 per barrel are not sustainable, underlining the negative impact of high oil prices on the global recovery.
India imports around 85% of its total oil requirements.
In March, the Biden administration issued a stern warning to India, saying more Russian oil purchases could expose New Delhi to "a great risk". India stressed that it would always put its own interests first.