White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Washington. (AP)
New Delhi: Even as Indian government sources, in a dig at the West, said that "countries with oil self-sufficiency or those themselves importing from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading" and therefore "India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicised", the United States on Saturday acknowledged that many countries including some in Europe continue to buy oil from Russia but made its discomfort known with that policy.
With reports that India is buying three million barrels of oil from Russia at deeply discounted rates, the US said it is in touch with India on the matter and sent a thinly-veiled message.
At a briefing in Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, "We made a decision about banning the Russian import of oil, every country has not made that decision, and we recognise that. And they have different economic reasoning as to why different countries do, including some in Europe. We have been in touch, of course, with Indian leaders at a range of levels, not through the President. If that happens, we will, of course, provide that readout and information to all of you." She added, "But what we would project or convey to any leader around the world is that the world — the rest of the world is watching where you’re going to stand as it relates to this conflict, whether its support for Russia in any form as they are illegally invading Ukraine."
Indian government sources meanwhile said, "India is highly dependent on imports for meeting its energy requirements. Nearly 85 per cent of our crude oil requirement (5 million barrels a day) has to be imported... Geopolitical developments have posed significant challenges to our energy security... The jump in oil prices after the Ukraine conflict has now added to our challenges… Countries with oil self-sufficiency or those importing themselves from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading. India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicised."