Austria backs India on buying Russian oil

  • Austrian trade commissioner said India has an immense energy need for the next decade and was on the right path

Ravi Dutta Mishra
First Published22 Mar 2022
A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow.
A logo of Russian state oil firm Rosneft is seen at its office in Moscow.(REUTERS)

India is right in buying oil from Russia as there cannot be quick solutions to the ongoing energy crisis, Austrian trade commissioner Hans Joerg Hoertnagl told Mint in an extension of support to New Delhi’s plan to buy oil from Moscow at a discounted rate amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

Hoertnagl’s views assume significance after the US recently said that buying oil from Russia amid the ongoing war and the sanctions imposed on the country would put “India on the wrong side of history”. India is the world’s third-largest importer of oil.

“At the moment it is difficult to have a quick solution because there isn’t one. India is going the right way. It has an immense need for energy for the next decade,” Hans Joerg Hoertnagl said on the sidelines of Austria-India Business Forum organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Mint earlier reported about India and Russia exploring payment options for crude purchase, with the two countries looking at the possibility of using China’s yuan as a reference currency to value the rupee-ruble trade mechanism. The report also stated that two countries may also look at a floating rate arrangement as India considers buying oil from Russia at a discounted rate to cool inflationary pressures.

“You cannot switch from one resource to another so easily,” Hoertnagl said. To tap into alternative energy, countries must build infrastructure, he said.

Earlier today, Brent on the Intercontinental Exchange traded at $112.10, higher by 3.86% from its previous close, according to data on Bloomberg. The prices have, however, cooled from multi-year highs after reports of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

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