India’s procurement of Russian crude oil is not under any government-to-government framework and Indian entities make the purchase from the market to respond to the country’s energy security requirement, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Thursday.
Kwatra also chose not to comment on the proposed price cap on Russian oil, a move initiated by the G7 countries to choke Moscow’s oil revenue.
The G7 countries are reportedly seeking India’s support to enforce the price cap on Russian oil.
The comments by Kwatra came at a media briefing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Uzbekistan to attend the SCO summit.
Modi is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). India’s procurement of discounted crude oil from Russia has seen a significant jump in the last few months notwithstanding an increasing disquiet over it by the Western countries.
“India is not a member of the G7. Deeper discounts, market pricing.. look, we have said this several times that when the Indian entities go out and try to respond to India’s needs of the energy security and procure oil, they essentially procure it from the market,” Kwatra said.
He was responding to a question on the issue.
“These are not government-to-government purchases that we do. On the price cap coalition, what form it takes, what shape it evolves into, something I think the countries that floated that idea perhaps can better answer to it,” he said.
India’s crude oil imports from Russia have jumped over 50 times since April and now it makes up for 10 per cent of all crude bought from overseas.
Russian oil made up for just 0.2 per cent of all oil imported by India prior to the Ukraine war.
The Western countries are gradually bringing down their energy purchases from Russia following its attack on Ukraine.
The G7 comprised Japan, the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.