India is exploring options to buy crude oil from Russia, authorities said on Tuesday, prices are falling to the lowest levels as a result of the global backlash against the conflict in Ukraine.
New Delhi has a long history of diplomatic and defense relations with Moscow, President Vladimir Putin organized a strange trip abroad at the end of last year, and called for an end to violence in Ukraine, but the invasion has been rejected.
His government wants to cut a spiral of energy bills after rising oil prices as a result of the conflict, while a Washington embargo is pushing other potential buyers to reject Russian oil at the same time.
Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government was holding talks on the purchase “at the right level of the Russian Federation”.
“Discussions are currently underway. Several issues need to be considered, such as how much oil is available,” he told parliament.
Mr Puri added that the government was looking into issues related to insurance, freight and crude payments.
Many countries, including European nations, remain heavily dependent on Russian fuel, the second largest exporter of crude oil in the world after Saudi Arabia.
According to government figures, India – the world’s third largest importer – currently buys only three percent of its supplies from Russia.
According to local media, New Delhi is also trying to establish a rupee-ruble trade mechanism to pay for oil and other goods.
Crude oil prices fell to about $ 100 a barrel on Tuesday, and fell in markets after reaching a 14-year high last week.
The Ukraine crisis has left India facing a diplomatic dilemma after close ties with Russia during the Cold War, with Moscow still its largest arms supplier.
At the end of last year, Russia began taking over the delivery of the S-400 missile defense system, which agreed to buy more than $ 5 billion from Russia in 2018, despite the threat of U.S. sanctions.
At the same time, it needs the support of the West to deal with its increasingly strong neighbor China, which has become a deadly border conflict that has turned into a deadly border conflict in 2020.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically created from a union feed.)