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Europe also buying Russia crude oil, says MEA on annoyance from West

  India sought to turn the tables on expressions of dismay and regret from western circles over New Delhi’s plan to buy Russian oil.
“A number of countries in the world are doing so, especially in Europe. I will leave it at that,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said when asked by western correspondents present at a media briefing on Thursday about multiple Indian PSUs buying oil from Russia.
Pointing out that it is a major oil importer, Bagchi said India is “always exploring all possibilities in the global energy market” while pointing out that the country is not a major buyer of Russian oil.
India was also in the process of examining what exactly are the “unilateral” sanctions and how they impact on the Indo-Russian trade including military supplies. As for the rupee-rouble trade, Bagchi admitted that such a mechanism exists, but “I don’t know what extent it will be used or whether it is feasible.”
Sources separately pointed out that this trade with Russia was being settled in dollars because the international payment mechanism on this account is not in western sanctions.
In the latest such move, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has bought two million barrels of Russian crude after Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) which bought three million barrels. Both have bought Russian Urals crude through European trader Vitol. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) also plans to buy one million barrels of the same crude. IOC invoked a pact for a fixed volume deal to buy crude oil from Russia’s Rosneft.
In the latest expression of western disappointment, UK Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said Britain is “very disappointed” with India’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but still regards it as an important trading partner.