'Putting My Country's Interests First': India Buying Discounted Oil From Russia - Finance Minister
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - India has purchased oil from Russia at a discount, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Friday, without specifying the volume.
"We've started buying [oil from Russia]; we've received at least quite a number of barrels. I would think about three-four days' supply, and this will continue... I would put my country's national interests first and I would put my energy security first. And if there is fuel available, and available at a discount: Why shouldn't I buy it?" the minister said at the CNBC-TV18 Indian Business Leader Awards ceremony.
Sitharaman also noted that the situation in Ukraine has had a serious impact on the economic climate in the world, adding that India enters the new fiscal year with "cautious optimism."
"I wish I was a fortune-teller to have known what Russia and Ukraine will go through. But I think I'd have ensured that all our wheat is sold well in time, [we would have] exported it. I'd have ensured that I had all the sunflower, which is blooming anywhere in the world, brought to India so that there is no deficit of it. I would've ensured, much before wheat and sunflower, [that] I got all my students out. Every student out," Sitharaman said when asked what she would have done differently if she had known about the Ukrainian crisis before it happened.
An unnamed US official told Reuters on Thursday that India will be "allowed" to buy Russian energy resources, but will face a "great risk" if it fails to comply with western sanctions on Moscow over its military operation in Ukraine. Delhi has brushed off US threats and calls to join sanctions against Russia.
Last week, Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the country's upper house of parliament that there were ongoing talks about purchasing Russian oil. Russia reportedly offered India a discount if the country paid for it in rupees or rubles.
Business Standard newspaper later suggested, citing sources, that India could import up to 15 million barrels of crude oil from Russia.
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