EU warns India for allegedly reselling Russian oil, Jaishankar responds
European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative Josep Borrell has recommended action against India for allegedly reselling Russian oil to Europe. Speaking to Financial Times, he said Brussels was aware that Indian refiners were buying large volumes of crude oil from Russia and selling it in Europe after processing. He urged the EU to crack down on India to stop this.
Why does this story matter?
When the Russia-Ukraine crisis erupted in February 2022, Western countries huddled to embargo Russia in an attempt to isolate it from the rest of the world. Russia then offered India cheap oil, but the West, backed by the United States, pressured India not to obtain Russian oil. India, on the other hand, defied the arm-twisting, claiming it was the greatest bargain for its citizens.
India's Russia oil export circumvention of sanctions: Borrell
Borrell, who is equivalent to a foreign minister, apparently issued a veiled warning to India over Russian oil. "If diesel or gasoline is entering Europe...coming from India and being produced with Russian oil, that is certainly a circumvention of sanctions, and member states must take measures," he said. Notably, this came ahead of his meeting with the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Brussels.
'Not Russian anymore': Jaishankar after EU leader calls for action
Following Borrell's statements, on Tuesday, Jaishankar responded by saying that Borrell should look at EU Council regulations. "Look at the EU Council regulations. Russian crude is substantially transformed in the third country and [is] not treated as Russian anymore. I would urge you to look at Council's Regulation 833/2014," he said in Brussels in response to Borrell's remarks calling for action against India.
India defended Russia oil deal
This is not the first time that Jaishankar has defended India's oil purchases from Russia. Previously, he remained steadfast on India's position while indirectly criticizing the West for pressuring New Delhi to reduce its commerce with Russia in light of its military operations in Ukraine. Notably, Jaishankar landed in Brussels for the final phase of his three-nation tour that included Bangladesh, Sweden, and Belgium.
Russia becomes India's biggest crude oil suppliers after Ukraine war
According to Vortexa, Indian refiners shipped nearly 284,000 barrels per day (bpd) of refined petroleum products on average to Europe between December and April. In comparison, the number was 170,000 bpd in the year-ago period. Before the Ukraine war began, Russia was only a minor crude oil provider to India; however, after that, it overtook major oil suppliers like Iraq and Saudi Arabia.Share this timeline