US warns India against the temptation of cheap Russian oil

US warns India against the temptation of cheap Russian oil
The White House warning came after reports of India agreeing to purchase discounted oil from Russia.
2 min read
16 March, 2022
The White House warned New Delhi to avoid supporting Moscow's invasion of Ukraine [Getty]

The White House has said that India would not be violating international sanctions if it purchased oil from Russia but warned New Delhi that doing do would put it "on the wrong side of history".

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that India was free to buy its oil from Russia, but added: "When the history books are written in this moment in time, support for Russia - the Russian leadership - is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact."

"[Our] message to any country continues to be that abide by the sanctions that we have put in place and recommended," she added.

Reports from last week revealed that India was considering the purchase of discounted Russian crude oil to lower its rocketing energy bill.

The move has seen calls for sanctions on New Delhi, for indirectly aiding the Russian war effort.

International sanctions have hit Russia's economy hard in an attempt to force the Kremlin to come to the negotiating table and halt its invasion of Ukraine.

Sanctions against Moscow's already struggling economy have meant it is isolated from the international banking system and is struggling to sell its oil and natural gas, a major source of its income.

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A US diplomat said earlier this month that the Biden administration could sanction India for the purchase of a missile system from Russia, a deal that was concluded in 2018. 

India has not openly supported Russia's invasion of Ukraine, instead, walked a diplomatic tightrope over the past few weeks.

So far it has managed to maintain its longstanding relationship with Moscow while condemning the violence in Ukraine.

However, India has abstained from condemning Russian President Putin’s actions in two votes at the United Nations.