US confirms no request for India to halt Russian oil imports amid sanctions – Times of India

In an effort to manage global oil supplies amidst the Ukraine conflict, the United States has clarified its position regarding India’s purchase of Russian oil. According to US treasury officials, the objective of the sanctions and the $60 per barrel price cap imposed by the G7 is to ensure stable oil supplies globally while limiting Moscow’s revenues.
The United States, in alignment with the G7-imposed price cap, has said that it has not requested India to cease its purchase of Russian oil.This comes amidst the backdrop of India emerging as a leading buyer of Russian oil following the imposition of sanctions by Western nations in response to Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine. Eric Van Nostrand, the US treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy, emphasized the importance of maintaining oil market stability.
“It is important to us to keep the oil supply on the market. But what we want to do is limit Putin’s profit from it,” Nostrand said.
India’s reaction
Meanwhile, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said that India purchases from the international market, wherever it is available at the “cheapest available rate”.
Addressing the weekly press briefing, Jaiswal said, “For us, anything to do with energy security, oil purchases, are buying in the international market. All these are guided by our energy security requirements, and it’s a commercial exercise that we do. It’s a commercial venture that we engage.”
“We buy oil from the international market, wherever it is available, at the cheapest available rate. We have to ensure our energy security and that’s of prime consideration,” he added.
Strategies and sanctions
The sanctions and price cap mechanism are designed to limit Russia’s options, encouraging the sale of oil under the price cap or at deeper discounts if buyers circumvent Western services. Anna Morris, acting assistant secretary for terror financing, highlighted the flexibility of the G7 nations to adjust the price cap based on market conditions. Additionally, the recent sanctions against Russian state-run shipper Sovcomflot (SCF) and specific vessels underline the targeted approach to hinder Russia’s oil trade revenue.
India’s role and future directions
Despite the complex sanctions landscape, the US acknowledges India’s position as a significant importer of Russian oil, recognizing the transformation of Russian crude post-refinement as no longer subject to sanctions.
Anna Morris, acting assistant secretary for terror financing at the US treasury, said: “Once Russian oil is refined, from a technical perspective it is no longer Russian oil. If it is refined in a country and then sent forward, from a sanctions perspective that is an import from the country of purchase it is not an import from Russia.”
“Russia will react to an effective price cap by continuing to invest money to avoid our sanctions, requiring us to continue to adapt and innovate in our strategy,” Morris said.
With both nations continuing discussions on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, the US-India cooperation appears robust in navigating the sanctions regime effectively.
(With inputs from agencies)

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