Russian oil companies 'offer big discounts to India' as New Delhi refuses to condemn Ukraine invasion

Russian oil companies 'offer big discounts to India' as New Delhi refuses to condemn Ukraine invasion
2 min read
07 March, 2022
Sanctions imposed on Russia in the wake of it's brutal invasion of Ukraine has its economy teetering on the edge of collapse. Moscow has turned to one of its longstanding partners in New Delhi to try and find some relief.
Moscow desperately tries to find more buyers for its energy exports as international sanctions threaten to wreak havoc on its economy. (Getty Images)

Russian oil firms are reportedly offering crude to India at a 27 percent discount, according to reports in India.

Moscow is struggling under the immense weight of international sanctions and boycotts, with the Kremlin appearing to look to New Delhi, its old partner, for some relief.

The price of crude oil and gas has skyrocketed following Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine as western nations - including the US and the European Union - look to boycott Russian energy.

Oil prices have soared to $139 a barrel, the highest in 14 years, prices that could lead to a dire situation in India.

It is unclear how New Delhi would pay for the oil if it accepts the reported offer, with western sanctions on restricting Russian access to SWIFT, the accepted international payment system.

India is walking a diplomatic tightrope by refusing to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It needs to be wary about purchasing oil from Russia as it could be perceived as funding the assault and anger western powers, possibly leading to sanctions, analysts say. 

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Professor Harsh Pant, Professor of International Relations with King College London's India Institute and Head of the Strategic Studies Programme at the Observer Research Foundation think tank in New Delhi told The New Arab that India should be careful about accepting the discount.

"India will have to balance its ties with the West, which are substantive economical," he said. "Sanctions around Russia will constrain Indian choices."

Russia is a major exporter of arms, oil and, fertiliser to India.

Moscow's recent invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed on its economy have made those exports nearly impossible as Russia's economy teeters on the edge of collapse.

Late week, reports emerged that Moscow is attempting to use the Iranian nuclear deal to circumvent international sanctions in a move that could scupper the soon-to-be concluded agreement.

Russia demanded that it received a guarantee that its trade with Iran would not be affected.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Russia’s demands are "irrelevant" and "have nothing to do with the Iran nuclear deal".

The New Arab has reached out to the Indian Embassy in the UK for a comment on the reports.