John Kirby, The Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications of the White House on Tuesday said that “The US values its bilateral relationship with India”. This statement was made in the context of India’s decision to purchase oil from Russia. He also said that “India is a key strategic partner in the Indo-pacific region”.
Regarding the Indian decision to procure oil from Russia, he said that, “every country needs to make the decision for them”. He also said that, “We will let the Indian leaders to speak to their economic policies”.
Further, he also said that these are sovereign decisions. But more and more pressure should be put globally on Russia. There should be costs for what Russian President is doing, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As per the latest data, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become India’s 2nd largest supplier of oil. Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the Russian crude oil is available at a discounted price and Indian refiners have bought approx. 25 million barrels of Russian oil in the month of May.
Western capitals have been disquieted over India’s neutral positioning in the Russia-Ukraine war and as well as its decision to procure oil from Russia.
India, which is the world’s third-largest oil importing and consumption country, has defended its oil purchasing from Russia stating that the Indian volume of Russian imports is minuscule as compared to that of Europe.
Around the first week of June also, India had mentioned that its purchase of crude oil from Russia is guided by its energy security requirements.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi stated that the purchase of oil from Russia is not an issue related to India as many other countries are also doing the same and have taken similar sort of decisions.