Despite Western sanctions, Russia's oil continues to enter the European market due to some countries reselling Moscow's black gold. One of them is India, which has significantly increased its purchases from the Kremlin in the last year, along with its exports to Europe.
According to data from the Vortexa company, cited by Der Tagesspiegel, in April India imported for the first time more oil from Russia than from its former main suppliers, Saudi Arabia and Iraq combined - 1.7 million barrels per day.
At the same time, New Delhi became the same month the main European supplier of refined fuels, such as diesel, with exports for 365,000 barrels per day. Industry observers are convinced that there is processed Russian oil in Indian supplies.
Since December, the European Union (EU) has maintained an embargo on Russian crude oil shipped by ship. In addition, since February, the import of petroleum products from Russia, such as diesel and gasoline, has also been banned. The Finnish think tank Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) believes, however, that this embargo is being circumvented with the help of third countries, such as India.
"Western countries with oil sanctions against Russia, including the EU, massively increased their imports from these countries, which became the new main recipients of Russian crude," Der Tagesspiegel stressed.
In addition to India, the analysis organization also notes that China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore launder Russian oil. In total, its deliveries of petroleum products to the sanctioning Western countries increased by almost 19,000 million euros within a year, after the beginning of the conflict around Ukraine, dated February 24, 2022.
However, the argument that the purchase of oil from Russia indirectly supports this conflict "did not impress" New Delhi. The government of the Asian country notes that it feels obliged first of all to supply affordable energy to its population, and Russian crude is now sold at a discount.
Recently, Western governments have refrained from publicly criticizing India's relations with Russia, since they see the former as an important partner, especially in a possible regional alliance against China, the media highlights, whose leadership cannot be ignored by the West.
Therefore, the authorities in New Delhi see no reason to refrain from closer relations with Russia. Apart from deepening their military partnership, the two states are negotiating an investment and a free trade agreement with the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Economic Community. India hopes to open a new market in Russia for its exporters in order to balance the trade deficit caused by massive oil imports, the newspaper concluded.
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