The United States has stated that it has no objection to India’s purchases of oil from Russia. However, it hopes that India will continue to benefit from the price ceiling that has been set for it by Western allies. John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, made this statement during a White House Press briefing last week. He emphasized that India has the right to make its own choices about oil purchases, but the US hopes that it will purchase Russian oil at or below the price cap, as it has been.
The US and its allies have taken several steps to try and reduce Moscow’s oil revenues as part of the sanctions imposed on Russia due to its actions in Ukraine. In December, the EU and G7 nations implemented a collective ban on any Russian seaborne oil exports bought for more than their price cap of $60 per barrel. Additionally, an embargo was put in place on February 5, which bans almost all imports of Russian oil products and introduces price caps on diesel and other petroleum products.
As a response to these sanctions, Russia has redirected most of its oil flows to Asia, particularly to India and China. Russia has also negotiated payment settlements in currencies other than the US dollar, as the sanctions have effectively cut it off from the Western financial system.
India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, has resisted pressure from the US and Europe to align with Western sanctions on Russia. It has also refrained from condemning the Russian military operation in Ukraine at the United Nations. Instead, India has increased its purchases of Russian crude after the Western embargo and price caps were introduced. According to reports, its imports of Russian seaborne crude oil have risen tenfold in the financial year ending on March 31.
The US continues to hope that India will support the price caps on Russian oil, as it believes this is necessary to further reduce Moscow’s oil revenues. While India has been resistant to these pressures, it is facing a delicate balance between maintaining its own interests and aligning with Western allies. The relationship between the US and India on this issue remains one to watch, as the dynamics of global oil markets and geopolitical tensions continue to evolve.
For more stories on economy and finance, you can visit RT’s business section.