India imports 25 times larger supplies of Russian oil after US pressure

Russia is offering a discount on energy supplies, and India has made great use of it. However, Pakistan keeps buying expensive oil due to US pressure.

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India has received 34 million barrels of discounted Russian oil since February, more than 10 times the value of the total imports from the country year-on-year, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Refinitiv Eikon data.

According to the report, more than 24 million barrels of Russian crude were supplied this month, up from 7.2 million barrels in April, and from about three million barrels in March. The South Asian nation is set to receive about 28 million barrels in June, data shows.

Last year, Russian crude exports to India averaged just 960,000 barrels per month, roughly 25 times less than this month’s total.

Read more: India buying cheap Russian oil: Why can’t Pakistan?

Western sanctions on Moscow have created an opportunity for Indian refiners to increase purchases of Russian oil (mostly Urals crude) at discounted prices, as some European customers have been vocally reluctant to buy Russian crude.

India has come under fire from the West for its continued purchases of Russian oil. However, New Delhi has rebuffed the criticism, saying those imports make up a fraction of the country’s overall needs.

Authorities also said India will keep buying “cheap” Russian oil as a sudden stop could drive up costs for its consumers. Previous media reports have indicated that the world’s third-biggest oil importer was seeking Russian crude at less than $70 a barrel to compensate for additional hurdles caused by sanctions.

Shipments of Russian oil to India exceeded 396,000 tons in March, according to the Ministry of Commerce. That is more than a 15% rise from the previous month and a 40% increase on an annual basis.

Overall, India has imported 56.7 million tons of Russian oil since the start of this year, which is 12% more than a year earlier.

Read more: India will face consequences for it’s support towards Russia, warns US

According to Refinitiv Eikon data, shipments of Russia’s Urals crude to India have risen since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

RT with additional input by GVS News Desk

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