Indo-Russian Relations
Daily coverage of what makes ties between Delhi & Moscow ever-lasting — even in times of western sanctions.

West Should Thank India for Purchasing Russian Crude: Jaishankar

© Photo : X (Former Twitter)/@DrSJaishankarS. Jaishankar
S. Jaishankar - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.11.2023
Both India and China have refused to follow western diktat on cutting down crude purchases from Russia or follow the G7 price cap. In fact, Russia now ranks as India’s biggest crude supplier.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar has remarked that the West should thank India for purchasing Russian crude as it helped keep global inflation in check.
“We actually softened the oil markets and the gas markets through our purchases. We have managed global inflation. I am waiting for the thank you,” Jaishankar stated during a conversation organised by Wilton Park, an agency of UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London on Wednesday evening.
Jaishankar estimated that the global oil prices would have gone “very high” had India not purchased crude from Russia in the wake of the special military operation in Ukraine.

“Because we would have gone into the same market, (and approached) the same suppliers as Europe would have done. And frankly, Europe would have outpriced us,” he explained.

The top Indian diplomat recalled that Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) supplies meant for smaller Asian economies than India’s had got “diverted” to Europe on several occasions in the last two years.
“India was, however, a big enough country to command some respect in the markets,” he noted.
Russian crude exports to both India and China, both of which are world’s biggest energy importers, have surged exponentially since last year as the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom banned the imports of Russian seaborne oil.
On previous occasions, senior Indian government ministers have indicated that Russian crude imports have helped India keep domestic inflation in check amid a global volatility in energy markets caused by western sanctions aimed at phasing out Russian commodities from global supply chains.

‘Powerful Interest’ to Keep India-Russia Relationship Going

The Indian foreign minister asserted that there was a “powerful interest” on the side of both Russia and India to keep the bilateral relationship stable.
“Both sides recognise the importance of the relationship in keeping a kind of a continental balance, if you would, in that part of the world,” Jaishankar stated.
He pointed out that the current views about Russia in India were very different from how the Eurasian giant was viewed by western nations.

“For us, Russia represents stability. In the East, Russia is not seen as a revisionist power… It is not automatic that if a country is perceived in a certain way by the west, that perception would apply to the east. That perception could be very different. In fact, it is very different,” the foreign minister told the British event.

The top Indian diplomat stressed that there was an “exceptional steadiness” in India-Russia relationship since at least 1950s, as compared to Moscow’s ties with other powers such as the US or China.
“Certainly after 1954, you have had the (Nikita) Khrushchev era, you had the (Leonid) Brezhnev era, you had the (Boris) Yelstin period, the (President Vladimir) Putin period and back to the Putin period and we have remained very steady. I would like to believe that this is due to the brilliance of diplomats on both sides. But surely, if a relationship is so even, there must be a fundamentally, structurally… balance to it which would keep it that way,” Jaishankar explained.
An oil pump jack operated by the Yamashneft Oil and Gas Production Division of Tatneft, are seen in Almetyevsk District of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan. - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.10.2023
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