Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday defended the purchase of cheap Russian oil even as sanctions have been imposed on Moscow following its military attack on Ukraine.
At an event in Mumbai, Sitharaman said, “We have started buying Russian oil and have bought at least 3 to 4 days of supply. I will put my energy security and my country’s interest first. If supply is available at a discount, why shouldn’t I buy it?”
In the meantime, Jaishankar said said that Europe has bought 15 per cent more oil and gas from Russia than it did the month before.
The minsiter made this statement in the presence of British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss.
“I think it’s natural for countries to go out into the market and look for what are the good deals for their people,” Jaishankar said.
“If we wait for two or three months and actually look at who are the big buyers of Russian gas and oil, I suspect the list won’t be very different from what it used to be,” he added.
Responding to Jaishankar, Truss said that Britain respects India’s decision to buy discounted oil from Russia.
“India is a sovereign nation and I am not going to tell India what to do,” she said.
The statements from Truss and Jaishankar came after US Deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh warned that the US would not like to see a rapid acceleration of India’s imports from Russia.