Not asking India to cut down oil imports from Russia: US | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Two senior treasury department officials, who are in India to discuss what is Phase 2 of the Russian oil price cap, said Thursday the US and others imposing the cap, are seeking to minimise Kremlin’s profits and stifle its Ukraine aggression, but without destabilising the global energy market or forcing India to slash its imports from Russia.
The officials, however, said allowing unrestricted Russian oil trade will remain unacceptable. Eric Van Nostrand, assistant secretary for economic policy, and Anna Morris, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes, said the US isn’t asking India to cut down its oil imports from Russia, adding the price cap isn’t meant to block the flow of Russian oil. Russia accounted for a third of India’s oil imports last month. Nostrand said it’s important to keep the oil supply going in the market and that what the US is seeking to do is to limit Putin’s profit. Russia has the option of selling under the price cap or to sell at deep discounts if it doesn’t follow the Western regulations. The officials were speaking at an event organised by Ananta Centre.
The US and an international coalition opposed to Russia’s war on Ukraine had implemented a price cap, $60 per barrel, on Russian oil, allowing them to support trade in Russian oil only if it was sold at or below the price cap. The second phase was launched in Oct last year to tighten the enforcement of the cap and to restrain the Kremlin’s ability to export oil through alternative shipping ecosystems. “There is no curbs, we have not asked India to reduce Russian oil buying,” said Morris, adding US hasn’t sanctioned any Indian entity for importing or refining Russian crude. With India exporting oil products, believed to be refined from Russian crude to US and Europe, the official said that “once Russian oil is refined, from technical perspective it is no longer Russian oil”.
In their meetings here, the official sought support from India in implementing the second phase of the price cap.
“We know that Indian economy has much at stake in the Russian oil trade, and has much at stake from the global supply disruptions that the price cap is designed to avoid. The price cap’s goals are to limit Putin’s revenue and maintain global oil supply-essentially by creating a mechanism for India and other partners to access Russian oil at discounted prices,” Nostrand further added.

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