S Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister, has responded appropriately to US President Joe Biden’s criticism of India for buying oil from Russia during the Ukraine conflict. In response to a question on Monday, Jaishankar, who was in the United States, said that the amount of oil that India buys from Russia in a month is bought by European countries in the afternoon of the same day. Biden previously stated that increasing India’s oil purchases from Russia is not in India’s best interests. Biden has been educating India on the importance of not buying cheap Russian oil, but he has been silent on the importance of importing energy from its European allies.
‘If you (India) are referring to buying oil from Russia, then I would suggest that your focus should be on Europe,’ Jaishankar said of India’s oil imports from Russia. For our energy security, we purchase some energy. However, if we look at the numbers, I believe our monthly oil purchases will be less than what Europe purchases in a day until noon. Earlier, during his virtual meeting with Prime Minister Modi, Biden brought up the issue of Russian oil imports.
‘It is not in India’s interest to increase its oil purchases from Russia.’
On Monday, Biden told Prime Minister Modi that increasing India’s oil purchases from Russia is not in the country’s best interests. Biden stated that the US stands ready to assist India in diversifying its energy imports. The White House of the United States of America has provided this information. President Biden made the remarks during a meeting with Prime Minister Modi, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Soon after the PM Modi-Biden talks, Jen Psaki told reporters that the talks were productive and that the US and President Biden value their relationship with India.
In this virtual meeting, Biden stated that increasing or speeding up India’s oil imports from Russia is not in India’s best interests. Let us remind you that India currently imports one to two percent of its oil from Russia and ten percent from the United States. India is America’s largest energy market. The US, according to spokeswoman Saki, is ready to assist India in diversifying its energy resources. However, he added that India’s purchases of Russian oil and gas are not in violation of any sanctions.
PM Modi Biden stated that Putin and Zelensky had direct talks. Biden told Prime Minister Modi that the US and India would continue to consult on how to deal with Russia’s “destabilising effects” in Ukraine. Modi also emphasised the importance of direct talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to end the crisis. Modi called recent reports of innocent civilians being killed in Boocha city “very worrying,” and said India immediately condemned it and demanded a thorough investigation. Prime Minister Modi also mentioned his conversations with the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia over the phone.