Crude Oil Import From Russia To Continue: S Jaishankar

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New Delhi: After holding wide-ranging talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday clearly indicated that India will continue to import crude oil from Russia notwithstanding growing disquiet over it by Western powers.

At a joint media briefing with Lavrov, Jaishankar said it is the “fundamental obligation” of New Delhi to ensure that Indian consumers have the best possible access to the “most advantageous” terms in international crude markets.

Russia has become India’s top oil supplier in October, surpassing traditional sellers Saudi Arabia and Iraq, according to data from energy cargo tracker Vortexa.

“As regards the oil supply issue, first of all, there is stress on the energy markets. This is a stress which has been created by a combination of factors,” Jaishankar said.

“But as today the world’s third largest consumer of oil and gas, a consumer where the levels of income are not very high, it is our fundamental obligation to ensure that the Indian consumer has the best possible access on the most advantageous terms to international markets,” he said.

The external affairs minister was replying to a question on Western pressure on India over its import of crude oil from Russia.

“In that respect, quite honestly, we have seen that the India-Russia relationship has worked to our advantage. So if it works to my advantage I would like to keep that going,” he said.

India’s appetite for Russian oil swelled ever since it started trading on discount as the West shunned it to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

The external affairs minister also reaffirmed the resolve by India and Russia to expand overall economic engagement.

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