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Finance minister: Buying cheap oil to secure our needs


Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that India is buying crude from Russia, which is available at a discount, as it seeks to secure its energy interests.

The statement came as the two countries eye a new payment mechanism for rupee-rouble trade. Defence ministry sources said that Russia is seeking payments of arrears for equipment purchase, which may also be part of the mechanism. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sitharaman’s statement at an event organised by a TV channel came amid fresh pressure to sever ties with Russia.

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that India is buying crude from Russia, which is available at a discount, as it seeks to secure its energy interests.

The statement came as the two countries eye a new payment mechanism for rupee-rouble trade. Defence ministry sources said that Russia is seeking payments of arrears for equipment purchase, which may also be part of the mechanism.
Sitharaman’s statement at an event organised by a TV channel came amid fresh pressure to sever ties with Russia.

“We have started buying Russian oil and have bought at least 3 to 4 days of supply… I will put my energy security and my country’s interest first. If supply is available at a discount why shouldn’t I buy it?” she said on a day when Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was in town.

During the last few weeks, some Indian oil companies have bought Russian crude at a discount. The US is mounting pressure on India to desist from purchasing crude petroleum, although several of America’s European allies are yet to switch off supplies.
Government sources said that imports from Russia are not significant and the purchases are in line with their overall share of around 1% in India’s crude basket. On Thursday, foreign minister S Jaishankar had said that India’s purchases were based on economic imperatives and Russia would remain a small part of the pie, while hitting out at a campaign against India.

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“I was just reading a report today that said it’s natural for countries to go out into the market and look for good deals for their people. I am pretty sure if we wait for 2-3 months and look at who all are the big buyers of Russian oil and gas, I suspect the list won’t be any different from what it used to be and I suspect we won’t be in the top 10 of that list,’’ Jaishankar had said.


Scoopearth Team

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