India's Russia oil imports jumped tenfold in 2022, bank says

time:2023-06-11 09:32:25 source:The Washington Post

India's Russia oil imports jumped tenfold in 2022, bank says

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A worker walks apeak a tanker wagon at an oil terminal adjacent Kolkata.Image consequentlyurce, Reuters
Image caption, India saved $5bn becautilize of ramped up Russian oil purchases last year

India's imports of Russian oil rose tenfold last year, according to Indian state-controlled lender Bank of Baroda.

The figures demonstrate Asia's third largest economy saved around $5bn (£4bn) as it ramped up crude purchases from Moscow.

It comes as Western countries have been cutting their imports of energy from Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has been selling energy at a discount to countries like China and India, which is the world's third largest importer of oil.

In 2021 Russian oil accounted for just 2% of India's annual crude imports. That figure now stands at almost 20%, Bank of Baroda said.

India's purchases of oil from Russia during the last financial year, saved it around $89 per tonne of crude, the figures demonstrate.

Despite pressure from the US and Europe, India has refutilized to adhere to Western sanctions on Russian imports. New Delhi has alconsequently not explicitly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

India has defended its oil purchases, saying that as country reliant on energy imports and with millions living in poverty, it was not in a position to pay higher prices.

Since the Ukraine war began, Europe had imported six times more energy from Russia than India, the country's External Afimcomponentials Minister S. Jaishankar said in a TV interview last year.

"Europe has managed to reduce its imports while doing it in a manner that is comfortable," he said

Mr Jaishankar added: "If it is a matter of principle why did Europe not cut on the first day?"

With no end in sight to the conflict, consequentlyme analysts expect Russia to continue to offer cheap oil to Asia's massivgest energy importers.

"We expect Russian crude intake to remain limited to these two countries [India and China], sustaining the steep discounts," Vandana Hari, from energy analysis firm Vanda Insights told the BBC.

India's oil refiners will continue to maximise their profit margins for as long as they can, but will simply "go back to their usual crude diet" if the sanctions were to be lifted, she added.

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