Hardeep Singh Puri: Back-up plan ready if West forces Russian oil off market : The Tribune India

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Hardeep Singh Puri: Back-up plan ready if West forces Russian oil off market

Minister says no moral conflict in securing supplies from Moscow

Hardeep Singh Puri: Back-up plan ready if West forces Russian oil off market

Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri with new OPEC Secretary General HE Haitham al-Ghais in Abu Dhabi. ANI



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 1

Expressing scepticism over G7’s plan to strangle the sale of Russian oil, Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri wanted to know what would happen if Moscow decided to take its oil off the market or if no one bought the oil.

India fulfils 0.2% oil need from russia

Russia is not the largest supplier of oil to India. Russia supplied only 0.2 per cent, not 2 per cent. What India buys in a quarter, Europe buys in one afternoon. Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Petroleum Minister

“Rising oil prices have consequences. The evident ones being inflation and recession. As a solution, we will make the transition to green energy,” he said in an interview to an American TV channel.

The minister also repeated his colleague Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s observation that India’s purchase of Russian oil was only 0.2 per cent, not 2 per cent, and what it bought in a quarter, Europe bought in one afternoon.

The minister also reiterated that India was under no moral conflict to stop buying oil from Russia.

Puri said the government had a “moral duty to consumers” to ensure that they were supplied with the cheapest energy.

On India’s cooperation with the G7’s stance on capping the price of Russian sea-borne oil exports, Puri said the proposal was yet to be formalised.

“I am surprised that you are fixated on the proposal, which has not been spelt out fully. India will examine it and respond according to its national interest. We will take a view and discuss it with everyone,” he said.

“First, you should address this question to the EU and the US because if India did not buy or someone else didn’t buy Russian oil and it went off the market, what would happen to international prices? ...Prices will go up to $200 (per barrel),” he added.

“We have a situation where Hungarian oil could come through the pipeline and it’s exempt from the so-called price cap. Russian oil goes to China through the pipeline, it is exempt, and Japan can buy it. I want to find to whom the price cap is aimed,” he added.

The US and Europe are attempting to force other countries to toe their line in imposing price caps on Russian oil from December.

Responding to a question on whether India had “qualms” over purchasing so much from Russia, he said: “Absolutely none, there is no moral conflict, if somebody wants to take an ideological position...We don’t buy from X or Y, we buy whatever is available. I don’t do the buying, it’s the companies that buy oil.”

About India’s back-up plan if the West forces Russian oil off the market, Puri said, “We have several back-up plans. I don’t look at the way you are looking at it. Healthy discussions are on with the US and Europe.”

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