India’s Russian oil buy had US blessing: Eric Garcetti : The Tribune India

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India’s Russian oil buy had US blessing: Eric Garcetti

Washington had earlier warned New Delhi against trade relations with Moscow

India’s Russian oil buy had US blessing: Eric Garcetti

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has claimed the US had allowed India to buy Russian oil.



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, May 12

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has claimed the US had allowed India to buy Russian oil. “We allowed the purchase to take place to ensure the prices did not go up globally,” he said, while speaking at an event organised by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington last week.

Didn’t want prices to go up

We allowed the purchase to take place to ensure the prices did not go up globally… We achieved what we wanted due to this arrangement and India delivered on that. Eric Garcetti, US Ambassador to India

Due to this “arrangement”, global oil prices didn’t shoot up and “India delivered on that,” he added. Earlier last month, a visiting US Treasury official had also said the US had not asked India to cut Russian oil imports. “It is important to us to regulate the oil supply. But what we want to do is limit Putin’s profit from it,” US Treasury Assistant Secretary Eric Van Nostrand had said.

Of late, US officials have maintained the G7, European Union and Australia do not want Russian oil to be sold above $60 per barrel in order to curtail Moscow’s profit margin. This alliance also bans the use of Western insurance when tankers carry Russian oil priced above $60 a barrel.

If the statements by Garcetti and Van Nostrand are taken at face value, these mark a departure from the earlier aggressive observations by US officials on the issue of India increasing the purchase of Russian commodities like timber, coking coke and crude oil. White House Deputy NSA Dalip Singh had ruffled many feathers here in 2022 by his blunt talk. He had warned that it was not in “India’s interest to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy” and said the US would be “happy to be a partner in reducing their reliance”.

Singh had also said, “What we would not like to see is a rapid acceleration of India’s imports from Russia as it relates to energy or any other exports that are currently being prohibited by the US or by other aspects of the international sanctions regime.”

Retiring US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, after a trip to India, had told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that India had “60 years of entanglement” with Russia which needed to end.

India, on the other hand, has allowed four Russian companies to provide marine insurance cover to tankers. In fact, three of the permissions were given two weeks after the visit by Nostrand and other senior US officials.

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