No India is not replacing Gulf for Russia for its oil imports
Continuing with anti-India propaganda, British daily, The Independent in its recent article said Russia’s crude oil supply to India increased from zero in January-February to record 950,000 barrels per day in June
The Independent said Russia is making huge inroads into the world’s third-largest oil market and is well on its way to becoming one of India’s largest oil suppliers, replacing historical suppliers Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Let the fact be placed in the public domain. India’s oil purchase from Russia constitutes minuscule of its total imports. It is still around 10% of its’ annual oil import basket. On the other hand, Europe which has imposed sanctions on Russia and vowed to curb oil and gas purchase from Russia is still getting supplies from Moscow, The European Union said it would block all Russian oil imports by sea by the end of 2022.
Poland and Germany also said they will end pipeline imports, but have other members of the bloc agreed to such plans. Not yet. Then, Germany is still relying on Russia for almost half of its gas supply. According to Fortune, Russia accounted for 55% of Germany’s gas imports in 2021, and 40% in the first quarter of 2022. Berlin is desperate for Russian energy to run its industries and sustain its economy. It is under huge stress as Russia has threatened to stop natural gas deliveries to it.
There is a fear that the Nord Stream 1 pipeline from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea will not restart after a scheduled maintenance shutdown by the July end. Germany along with 11 EU countries is already facing reduced gas supplies from Russia. This shows the European Union countries are not willing to cut off their dependence on Russia for their energy needs, rather it is Russia which is denying them the privilege of getting gas and oil from its soil. In a way, it is Europe which is at the receiving end of Moscow’s ire—a major change in approach which has taken place in the aftermath of Russia-Ukraine war.
In contrast, India, despite repeatedly calling on Moscow to resolve its conflict with Ukraine through diplomatic means, is enjoying good relations with Russia. The basic question is why India should consider Russia’s fight with Europe, its own fight. Did the European Union or NATO stop the US from leaving Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban, the organisation whose association with Al Qaida and other terrorist outfits is not above question? Did American or European leaders heed to India’s request to understand India’s sensitivity on the Taliban? They didn’t apply any pressure on China when it attempted to grab Indian territory in Ladakh in 2020. They have never asked China to withdraw its 50,000 troops stationed across the Line of Actual Control. India is also a democracy and is facing challenges at its western and northern borders. But for the US and Europe, India’s problem is not their headache but their problem is a cause for concern for all. This is a discriminatory attitude and the West will have to come out of it.
This is not the case with Russia which has always stood by India. As for oil, remember, given the size of India’s population and energy consumption, it can secure total oil imports from Russia, but it is not doing so. A larger amount of oil is still sourced from the Gulf by India. Yet western papers like The Independent continuing with their propaganda against India, deliberately present a distorted narrative about India on the energy issue—all this to drive a wedge between India and Europe and India and the US. This is not good journalism.