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16 May, 2023 12:12

EU should ban Indian fuel made from Russian oil – Borrell

New Delhi has become one of the top buyers of the sanctioned country’s crude over the past year
EU should ban Indian fuel made from Russian oil – Borrell

The EU should “take measures” to stop India reselling Russian oil to the region in the form of refined fuels, the EU’s foreign policy chief told the Financial Times on Tuesday. Josep Borrell said the bloc was aware that Indian refiners are using large volumes of Russian crude to make fuels for the European market.

If diesel or gasoline is entering Europe… coming from India and being produced with Russian oil, that is certainly a circumvention of sanctions and member states have to take measures,” Borrell told the news outlet.

The diplomat added that he understands India’s eagerness to buy Russian oil, given the G7 price cap which bans Russia from selling its oil at a price above $60 per barrel. However, he urged Brussels to block products made from this oil from entering the EU.

That India buys Russian oil, it’s normal. And if, thanks to our limitations on the price of oil, India can buy this oil much cheaper, well the less money Russia gets, the better. But if they use that in order to be a center where Russian oil is being refined and by-products are being sold to us… we have to act,” he stated, without clarifying what those actions may be.

Borrell added that he is scheduled to meet with Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar later on Tuesday, when the issue will be discussed further.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, started boosting purchases of Russian crude after Western states placed an embargo and price caps on oil and petroleum products from the sanctioned country. India’s imports of Russian seaborne crude oil have reportedly risen tenfold in the financial year ending March 31.

However, Indian refiners also use crude from other destinations, including Iraq and Saudi Arabia. This, analysts say, makes identifying the exact origin of a barrel of diesel or gasoline virtually impossible, which in turn may pose a challenge for Brussels to come up with measures that would block refined Russian oil from entering the EU.

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