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Spike in oil price is breaking our back, says S Jaishankar after talks with US

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (L) hold a joint press conference following meetings at the State Department in Washington on Monday (REUTERS)Premium
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar (L) hold a joint press conference following meetings at the State Department in Washington on Monday (REUTERS)

After holding bilateral talks with the US, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar expressed concerned over the spike in the price of oil due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and said it is breaking India's back

Focusing on the energy needs of developing countries like India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said India is concerned over the spike in the price of oil due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and said it is "breaking our back."

Also Read: S Jaishankar on Russia-Ukraine: India on side of those who…

During his joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after India US bilateral talks, Jaishankar added that developing countries are worried over how their energy needs are addressed.

"We have taken the position privately, publicly, confidentially, and consistently that this conflict is not in anybody's interest," said Jaishankar on the Russia-Ukraine war.

Also Read: India flags concern over visas, US says ‘largely due to Covid pandemic’

The best way forward is to return to dialogue and diplomacy, he said. "Look, we have concerns about the price of oil but we are a USD 2,000 per capita economy. When the price of oil is breaking our back and it's our big concern," he said.

He also brought into the limelight India's contribution to past issues with its full capability. But this time there are some issues, said Jaishankar.

"You have to understand that in the last few months the energy markets are already under very great stress. Countries in the global south have found it difficult to compete for limited energy, not just in terms of escalating pricing but often in terms of availability."

Pointing out the highly stressed energy markets, S. Jaishankar said that India's concern is to soften the energy market. He made India's stance clear on the burning international issue in which India will react to global situations only based on the possible implications of every action on other countries in the global south.

Despite sanctions from the West, Russian oil import increases by 50 times to India

Amid rising fuel prices and West sanctions against Russia, there has been a 50-times hike in Russian oil imports to India. The trend is in complete contrast to that of developed countries of the West, which are gradually cutting down on their energy trade with Russia post-Ukraine invasion. Now Russian oil accounts for 10 per cent of the total crude imported from overseas. Russian oil made up just 0.2 per cent of all oil imported by India before the Ukraine war.

Even when the sanctions imposed by the western nations are hardly impacting Russia's actions in Ukraine, the G-7 countries and the European Union have brought an oil cap on Russian crude and refined products to limit Kremlin's revenues.

Earlier, G-7 Finance Ministers released a combined statement to show their intent of reducing Russian revenues and its ability to fund the Ukraine war, through this price cap.

Despite an invitation from the US to join the coalition to cap the prices of Russian oil, New Delhi refrained from joining by saying it would "carefully examine" the proposal before taking any decision.

On being questioned about military equipment import from Russia, Jaishankar said, "We look at possibility across the world. We look at the quality of technology, the quality of capabilities and the terms at which particular equipment is offered. We exercise a choice which we believe in our national interest," he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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