EAM Jaishankar tells US that India buys less oil from Russia than Europe; Shiv Sena applauds

The Biden administration already made it clear that it does not want to see a significant uptick in Russian energy imports by India, which has purchased at least 13 million barrels of discounted Russian crude since the country invaded Ukraine in late February

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 11:35 AM IST
article-image
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken | Twitter?@DrSJaishankar

On a visit to the US for the US-India 2+2 Dialogue, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar's sharp remarks in the US on India's oil purchase from Russia amounting to "less than that of Europe in an afternoon" drew praise from the opposition today.

On Monday, Jaishankar made the comments when asked by reporters in the US, during a joint press briefing, about President Joe Biden's push for India to cut energy imports from Russia.

"I noticed you refer to oil purchases. If you are looking at energy purchases from Russia, I would suggest that your attention should be focused on Europe. We do buy some energy, which is necessary for our energy security. But I suspect looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon," said the Foreign Minister.

"Superb from EAM," tweeted Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, using clapping emojis while sharing the video of Mr Jaishankar's comments. This was rare praise for the government from the Shiv Sena, a former ally-turned-bitter rival of the ruling BJP.

The Biden administration already made it clear that it does not want to see a significant uptick in Russian energy imports by India, which has purchased at least 13 million barrels of discounted Russian crude since the country invaded Ukraine in late February.

“The president … conveyed that we are here to help them diversify their means of importing oil. The imports from the United States are already significant, much bigger than the imports that they get from Russia,” Psaki told reporters.

“The president conveyed very clearly that it is not in their interests to increase that.”

She did not say whether the US had received any commitments from India on energy imports.

Monday’s virtual talks, which preceded a “US-India 2+2 Ministerial” meeting, included US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh.

The discussion came as New Delhi continues to try to balance its ties with Moscow and the West, which has imposed a series of sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war and urged nations to move away from Russian energy supplies as a way to exert pressure on President Vladimir Putin.

Jaishankar was addressing a joint news conference with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with their American counterparts Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, after the conclusion of the 2+2 ministerial.

Jaishankar said India has made a number of statements (on Russia-Ukraine war) which outline its position in the United Nations, in Indian Parliament, and in other forums. "And briefly, what those positions state is that we are against the conflict. We are for dialogue and diplomacy. We are for urgent cessation of violence, and we are prepared to contribute in whatever way to these objectives," he asserted.

The White House too came in India's defence on the issue of oil purchase noting that its total purchase is less than one and two per cent as against 10 per cent from the United States.

"Did the President get a commitment from Prime Minister Modi not to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy?" White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during her daily news conference.

"I'll let Prime Minister Modi and the Indians speak to that. Again, it's 1 to 2 per cent at this point in time. They import 10 per cent from the United States. It is not a violation of any sanctions or anything along those lines. It was a constructive, direct conversation. But I will let them speak for themselves," she said.

During the virtual summit earlier in the day, President Joe Biden conveyed that the United States is here to help India to diversify their means of importing oil. "The imports from the United States are already significant - or much bigger than the imports that they get from Russia. And we, of course - the President conveyed very clearly that it is not in their interest to increase that. But beyond that, I would let the Indian leaders speak for themselves," she said.

India, Ms Psaki told reporters, is not violating any sanctions by importing oil. "It's a decision we made from the United States, but we also recognize different countries have their own calculations," she said.

(with inputs from PTI)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Lashkar-e-Taiba militants responsible for Amreen Bhat's death, two others, killed in separate...

Lashkar-e-Taiba militants responsible for Amreen Bhat's death, two others, killed in separate...

Watch: Lightshow on Mumbai's Gateway Of India to celebrate launch of Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1

Watch: Lightshow on Mumbai's Gateway Of India to celebrate launch of Stranger Things 4 Vol. 1

Mumbai: Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh raises questions over BMC's functioning

Mumbai: Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikh raises questions over BMC's functioning

FTA between India, UK could be ready by Diwali, says Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal

FTA between India, UK could be ready by Diwali, says Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour: India's boy wonder Praggnanandhaa loses to Ding Liren

Meltwater Champions Chess Tour: India's boy wonder Praggnanandhaa loses to Ding Liren