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No let up in oil trade with India: Russia

Denis Alipov, the Russian Ambassador to India (Image courtesy: Russian Foreign Ministry)

The trend of crude oil supply to India will continue, and bilateral trade will strike new records, said Russian Ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, in an interview with ANI. “India being a consumer, quite naturally is looking for the cheapest offers and Russia being deprived of its traditional markets in Europe, for example, is looking for new markets, so this meeting between best available options and best available offers is driving the trade and our relationship in the energy sector, it is natural we think this trend will continue in a structured manner,” the Russian envoy said.

“No one knows the situation how energy markets look like by the end of the year, we are looking to further expanding our relationship in this area at promoting the ongoing dialogue and cooperation based on long-term arrangements and agreements,” he added.

According to an estimate, there is a steep jump in Russian oil export to India, as it has increased ten times this year and Russian crude oil is now fulfilling almost ten per cent of India’s imported oil consumption.

“The volumes (of trade have reached USD 11.5 billion already in half of the year. We will make and strike possibly a new record in our trade by the year, as we did in the previous one when our trade stood at USD 13.6 billion,” the Ambassador said.

The Russian envoy said that India and Russia are looking to further expanding the relationship in the energy sector as the situation in future is unpredictable.

Europe and US had expressed reservations about the quantum jump in Russian exports to Asian giants India and China.

The envoy also spoke about the position taken by India on oil imports.

He lauded the recent remarks made by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and slammed West for practising double standards. “I believe that these are the same double standards, hypocrisy and geopolitics. Jaishankar was very clear to articulate the imperative to satisfy the needs of the Indian people, essentially we can put it like that West continues to plausibly ignore India’s legitimate national interest just like it did so most of the time at the time of colonialism,” he said.

Already several sanctions and restrictions have been imposed on Russian oil exports which Moscow has termed illegitimate and against the practices of international law, it has warned to stop supply of gas to European countries.

The Russian envoy termed the G7’s plan to put a cap on the rates of Russian oil prices as narrow-minded and unrealistic, which according to him will definitely affect the global supply chains.

“I believe that this ill-intended initiative to put a cap on the price of Russian oil by administrative measures is both narrow-minded and unrealistic and it will definitely affect the global supply chains consequently will increase the energy rates, galloping projection if this whim is implemented. Russia will simply stop selling oil to those countries which decide to join this initiative as simple as that we will stop the supply of gas. It affects Russia substantially but ultimately it will be Europe who will feel the pain,” the Russian Ambassador said.

Speaking on the war in Ukraine, the Russian envoy said India is aware of the complexity and origin of the conflict.

He said “We appreciate India’s approach has been very consistent, very well balanced, India is well aware of the origin of crisis, we don’t have anything against the Ukrainian people we are brothers with Ukrainian people but the current regime in Kyiv has become a very explicit anti-Russia project, President Zelenskyy let down the Russian-speaking population in the Donbas region labelling the people there as species and launching a military campaign against them, it has now effectively become a western proxy war against Russia and NATO proxy war against Russia.”

“We on our part exercise long-term approach with our neighbourhood which we wanted to remain peaceful, stable and free of threats, we have been accused of the unjustified, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the argument which we will not accept. We regard it wrong on both accounts so India is well aware of the complexity of Ukrainian conflict and acts in its own national interest,” he said.

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