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Piyush Goyal gives befitting reply on India’s Russia imports amid Ukraine conflict

Union Minister Piyush Goyal, defending India's national interest during the current Ukraine war, dismissed any claims that India was significantly increasing imports from Russia or contributing to the situation in Ukraine. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (REUTERS)Premium
Union Minister Piyush Goyal, defending India's national interest during the current Ukraine war, dismissed any claims that India was significantly increasing imports from Russia or contributing to the situation in Ukraine. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (REUTERS)

India looks after its interests just like Europe, Piyush Goyal said on Russia imports amid the Ukraine conflict.

Union Minister Piyush Goyal defended India's national interest amid the ongoing Ukraine war, dismissing any claims that India was significantly increasing imports from Russia or contributing to the situation in Ukraine. This remark comes in the aftermath of the Ukraine war, which has resulted in severe sanctions against Russia, making it difficult for crucial partners like India to deal with Moscow. Piyush Goyal remarked on May 25 at the World Economic Forum in Davos that every government must protect its own interests. India, according to Goyal, has always sought various sources for its petroleum needs.

"Our interests or needs are no different from those of the European nations," said Piyush Goyal. "In the current situation, when inflation is at an all-time high, causing stress to people all over the world, EU and European countries continue to buy larger quantities than India ever thought of buying."

Over reports of India's significant surge in imports of petroleum products from Russia, Piyush Goyal said, "We've never been a very large importer of petroleum products from Russia." "Any suggestion that India is increasing imports from Russia or contributing to the situation doesn't stand scrutiny," he added.

India, according to Piyush Goyal, is operating within the current framework of sanctions imposed on Russia. As the world's third-largest oil importer and user, India imports 80% of its oil, but just a small percentage of that comes from Russia.

Following Western sanctions on Russian entities in the wake of the Ukraine war, India purchased a few million barrels of Russian crude oil at a discounted rate. This marked a sharp uptick from last year when India imported around 16 million barrels in 2021.

Media reports say a significant increase in Russian oil exports could expose India to great risk as Washington prepares to impose further punitive measures against Moscow.

India previously explained its stance on Russian trade, stating that the country's imports and exports are based on the national interest and wellbeing of over 1.4 billion Indians.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar remarked last month, in response to criticism of India's purchase of Russian oil, that India's entire purchases of Russian oil for a month were less than what Europe did in one afternoon.

Answering a question about India's import of Russian oil, Jaishankar said, "If you're looking at (India's) energy purchases from Russia, I'd suggest your attention should be on Europe. We buy some energy necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon."

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