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US clarifies India's Russian oil purchases minuscule; energy payments not under sanctions

India imports more than 80 % of the crude oil it consumes and has been seeking to diversify its sources, including by boosting the intake of Russian oil

US clarifies India's Russian oil purchases minuscule; energy payments not under sanctions

Source: Jen Psaki´s Twitter

Washington, April 6 - Neftegaz.RU. Given the clamour in some US media and among politicians criticising India for buying oil from Russia, President Bidens spokesperson Jen Psaki has clarified that its imports were minuscule and energy payments did not come under American sanctions, Indian IANS has reported.

Psaki said at a briefing in Washington:
  • Right now, just to give everybody the full scope of it, India's imports of Russian energy represent only 1 to 2 % of their total energy imports
  • Just given some of the reporting, energy payments are not sanctioned; that's a decision made by each individual country
She gave the clarifications while answering a reporter's question that if «as part of this new effort to ramp up sanctions, is the administration going to be ramping up pressure on China and India to abide by existing sanctions?»

In contrast to India, Germany imports about 55 % of its enormous gas requirement from Russia in addition to buying coal from it but it has escaped criticism or the snide questions that have dogged India.
The other countries in the EU that import Russian energy have also been free of criticism or demands to immediately cease imports.

Given India's pivotal role in the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific strategy and its attempts to curtail China's influence, Washington has generally been supportive of New Delhi despite its neutrality on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its purchases from Moscow.
Psaki added:
  • We also we've been very clear that each country is going to make their own choices, even as we have made the decision and other countries have made the decision to ban energy imports
Psaki said that US Deputy National Security Adviser Daleep Singh had offered to help India reduce the minuscule amount of its oil needs that it imports from Russia.

In his talks with Indian officials last week in New Delhi, Singh «made clear that we'd be happy to be a partner in reducing their reliance or even their small percentage of of reliance on that.
But he also told Indian officials that it was not in their country's interests to increase imports from Russia», she said.

Psaki added:
  • While he explained both the mechanisms of our sanctions and reiterated that any country or entity should be abiding by those, we also made clear that we'd be happy to be a partner in reducing their reliance or even their small percentage of of reliance on that

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