Indian imports of Russian oil skyrocket – official
Russia has continued to shift its exports of oil and petroleum products toward so-called ‘friendly’ countries, with India and China further increasing their share of its supplies, Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak stated on Tuesday.
“Most of our energy resources were redirected to the markets of friendly countries. For example, oil supplies to India increased 22 times last year. Supplies to China and other markets have been also on the rise, and this is the result of that great work that has been done in the industry,” Novak revealed at a meeting of Russia’s Energy Ministry.
Russia now covers 35% of India’s total oil imports, up from less than 1% in 2021. Energy has accounted for a large part of the surge in the countries’ bilateral trade.
The world’s third-largest crude importer, India began to boost imports of Russian oil shortly after the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions. The restrictions resulted in Russia losing its traditional oil buyers in the West, and forced Moscow to seek alternative markets by introducing discounts on its energy.
New Delhi, which has repeatedly stressed that energy security is its top priority, chose not to succumb to Western pressure and continued to stock up on Russian supplies even after the EU embargo and the G7 price cap on Russian oil came into force late last year.
According to the Russian Energy Ministry, the country’s overall oil exports increased by 7.6%, to 242.2 million tons, in 2022, while crude production rose by 2% to 535.1 million tons.
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