Best deal for citizens: Jaishankar on buying oil from Russia
Defending India's decision to buy crude oil from Russia, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that he had a moral obligation to ensure the best deal for Indian citizens. He was speaking at the 9th Joint Commission Meeting between India and Thailand held in Bangkok where both countries celebrated 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.
Why does this story matter?
In the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, US and several European countries had been persuading India to not buy oil from Russia, since it defies the sanctions enforced by them on Russia. It was a call for India to take sides in the conflict, while India maintained its policy of non-alignment. Amid skyrocketing prices of crude oil, Russia had offered deep discounts to India.
Honest and open about our interests: Jaishankar
According to a report by PTI, responding to a question at the event, Jaishankar said, "We are being very open and honest about our interests. I have a country that has a per capita income of two thousand dollars. These are not people who can afford higher energy prices."
Merely 3% of total crude oil imported from Russia
Of the total crude oil consumption, India imports around 85% of it. Out of which, around 3% comes from Russia. As crude oil prices reached at an all-time-high breaching the $130 mark, Russian oil companies sitting on a heavy stock offered India discounts up to $35 per barrel.
West's mounting pressure vs India's demand
As the West mounted pressure on India, with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging India to not buy additional oil from Russia, Jaishankar had reverted saying that India's total purchase for a month would equal what Europe buys in an afternoon. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said national interest and energy security were foremost.