India Will Continue to Buy Russian Oil Despite G7 Price Cap

India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has signaled that the country will put its energy needs above pressure from Western governments, and continue to buy oil from Russia.

India Will Continue to Buy Russian Oil Despite G7 Price Cap
Image credit: Robin Sommer / Unsplash

Facts

  • India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has signaled that the country will put its energy needs above pressure from Western governments, and continue to buy oil from Russia.
  • Jaishankar also provided Moscow with a list of products available for trade with India in order to narrow the trade deficit between the countries. Russia is India’s largest supplier of oil and India is looking to rebalance its trade, while Moscow is suffering from acute shortages of materials amid Western sanctions.
  • Despite the EU imposing sanctions on Russian oil by capping the price at $60 per barrel, India has said it does not intend to join the effort.
  • India and China — who have both refused to unify in sanctions against the Kremlin — have been buying Russian oil at a 40% discount compared to the Brent crude oil price, well below the $60 EU price cap.
  • Jaishankar condemned the EU’s request that India follow the price cap guidelines during a meeting with German Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock. He also accused the EU of hypocrisy as it imports six times the amount of Russian oil as India does.
  • While the US’ goal is to reduce Russia’s oil revenues, it says that India’s decision to buy Russian oil is a sovereign decision and will not affect the countries’ relationship in terms of trade and defense.

Sources: Associated Press, Times of India, Oil Price, The Week, and Indian Express.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Politico. India continues to sit on the fence and tacitly support Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. As other countries look to reduce the amount of oil they buy from Russia, India has increased its imports ten-fold since Putin’s invasion. India is putting profit above a principled and necessary show of opposition to Putin's attempted imperialist expansion.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by NDTV. India is a sovereign nation that will continue to put its energy needs ahead of G7 demands. While India respects other countries’ decisions to implement sanctions, it must work to provide the necessary energy to its people. New Delhi will not bend its knee to hypocritical countries that import more Russian oil than India does.

Predictions