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From Russia Via India

The Joe Biden Administration has claimed that energy products, including refined fuels, distillates, coal and gas, produced from Russian crude oil are entering the US via India, in spite of the ban on Russian oil imposed by the US. According to Washington DC, Russia is not only using India to hide the source of its crude oil, but also for shipping energy products to the port of New York.

The US imposed sanctions on Russian crude and other forms of fuel made from that crude, after Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24, 2022. However, India has not followed the path of the US on the issue of Russian aggression. Instead, the South Asian nation has taken a middle path from the beginning. The question arises here as to how could the Indian ship have reached the port of New York with Russian oil, after knowing the stand taken by Washington DC.

According to the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Dr Michael Debabrata Patra, the US Treasury Department recently informed New Delhi that an Indian ship docked at a port in western Indian province of Gujarat in July 2022 after collecting Russian crude. The crude was refined there, and was then sent to New York. “The refined output was put back on that ship and it set sail without a destination. In the mid-seas, it received the destination so it reached its course, went to New York,” stressed the RBI Deputy Governor. However, Dr Patra did not disclose the identity of the vessel, as well as the refinery.

Although India is the third largest oil importer in the world, New Delhi did not import oil from Moscow in the past. However, Russia started selling crude oil to India at a special discount following sanctions imposed by the West since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine. “So, that’s the way war works. It works in strange ways,” said Dr Patra.

The Deputy Governor of the Indian Central Bank has further said that India processes the Russian crude and converts it into a distillate used for making single-use plastic.

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