Pubblicato in: India, Materie Prime, Russia

India. Prosegue tranquilla a comprare petrolio dalla Russia. Non accetta le sanzioni di Joe Biden.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-04-04.

India 013

L’enclave liberal occidentale ha dichiarato guerra alla Russia, imponendo sanzioni ad effetto immediato irrispettose dei contratti in essere e fomentando il conflitto russo-ukraino cercando di allargare la Nato a quel paese e piazzandovi missili offensivi.

Ma il mondo libero si è dissociato da tali sanzioni e comportamenti, condannandoli. Solo per citare alcuni stati, Brasile, Arabia Saudita, Emirati Arabi Uniti, India, Cina nonché molti paesi afferenti l’Asean hanno rifiutato e condannato tali sanzioni. Sono quattro miliardi di persone e metà del pil ppp mondiale.

Nel mentre, il blocco europeo si è dissociato anche esso dall’America di Joe Biden che è rimasto isolato a voler imporre sanzioni anche sull’export russo del gas.

Tutto questo è avvenuto mentre la Russia ha iniziato una operazione speciale in Ukraina, che nel volgere di un mese ha bloccato i porti ukraini riducendo tale paese ad una mera realtà continentale, bloccandone tutto l’export.

Come risultato si è rafforzato il rapporto russo-cinese, che formano adesso una realtà euroasiatica economica, finanziaria, politica e, verosimilmente, militare. L’Eurasia può vivere tranquillamente senza utilizzare i servizi residui dell’occidente.

Joe Biden è disperato e furioso del suo isolamento e della sua impotenza. Si era proposto una operazione lampo e l’unica cosa che ha ottenuto sono gli altissimi prezzi che loro ed il mondo paga per gli effetti avversi delle sanzioni, in primis la inflazione e poi la carenza delle materie prime che i russi esportavano. Le sue recenti intemperanze verbali altro non sono che sfoghi di rabbia impotente.

Nel mentre, la popolarità di Joe Biden e dei democratici è crollata ed alle elezioni di midterm potrebbe essere probabile una loro cocente sconfitta.

Dopo aver fatto minacce spropositate alla Cina di non appoggiare la Russia, adesso se la prende con l’India.

Questa nazione infatti ha rinforzato i già stretti legami con la Russia, ed importa tranquillamente il petrolio incurante di cosa dica Joe Biden.

Gli energetici che la Russia non esporta più all’occidente li sta semplicemente vendendo all’interno del blocco euroasiatico, facendo la felicità di Cina ed India.

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«India will continue buying cheap Russian oil in the nation’s interest, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, even as pressure mounts to isolate Kremlin»

«We have started buying, we have received quite a number of barrels — I would think three-four days supply and this will continue»

«India’s overall interest is what is kept in mind»

«Indian state refiners have been doubling down on Russian barrels that are being shunned away by European buyers since the beginning of war in Ukraine»

«The country has contracted Russian crude oil for deliveries over the next three to four months»

«Russia is offering more oil to India at a discount of as much as $35 a barrel on prices before the war»

«India is considering a proposal from Russia to use a system developed by the Russian central bank for bilateral payments, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Under the plan, which is still under discussion, rubles will be deposited into an Indian bank and converted into rupees, and the same system will work in reverse»

* * * * * * *


Russian foreign minister’s high profile visit puts India under pressure

– Like Beijing, New Delhi has abstained in UN votes condemning the Russian invasion but is now coming under increasing pressure from western nations to revise its studied neutrality 

– British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and US deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh, the chief architect of the series of sanctions against Russia, were in the Indian capital hours before Lavrov 

– India has been buying discounted Russian oil but imports are unlikely to increase substantially

* * * * * * *

As the war in Ukraine rages on, a visit by Russia’s top diplomat is putting India under pressure.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is in New Delhi to persuade India to hold on to its neutral line on the Ukraine war and bypass international sanctions to buy more of its crude oil through a rupee-ruble payment mechanism.

On Friday, he met his counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and expressed “appreciation” for India’s neutral stand on Ukraine. “India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts and not just in a one-sided way,” Lavrov said. He may also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit.

But in high diplomatic drama, the Russian minister’s visit came just after the visit by British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, which was billed by British press as a push against Russia. U.S. deputy National Security Advisor Daleep Singh — one of the chief architects of sanctions against Russia — was also in town on a similar mission.

There is good personal chemistry between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Modi, who is one of only four foreign leaders to have been awarded Russia’s top decoration, the Order of St. Andrew.

In its 2021 National Security Strategy, Russia described relations with New Delhi as a “special and privileged strategic partnership,” and discussed them in the same paragraph as Russo-Chinese ties.

A day earlier, Lavrov was in China to met China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and reinforce ties.

“China-Russia relations have withstood the new test of the changing international situation, maintained the correct direction of progress and shown tenacious development momentum,” Wang said after their meeting, in a sign that China is continuing to stand by its “no limits” partnership with Russia.

Like Beijing, New Delhi has abstained in UN votes condemning the Russian invasion but is now coming under increasing pressure from Western nations to revise its stance.

                         India buying Russian oil.

There have been concerns about India ramping up its oil purchases from Russia at deep discounts.

During a visit to India this week, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics said the Biden administration did not want to see India crank up its crude oil purchases from Russia. 

Speaking from Washing on Wednesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said India’s purchases of cheap Russian oil were “deeply disappointing” and again urged New Delhi to stand “on the right side of history.”

Likewise, Truss said Britain respects India’s decision to buy Russian supplies but she also discussed ways to cut India’s strategic dependence on Russia.

However, one analyst told CNBC India will not likely significantly increase its oil imports from Russia.

“Even with a discount, Russian oil is expensive because of increased insurance rates as a result of the war in Ukraine,” said Sunjoy Joshi, chairman of the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

India is the world’s third-largest consumer of oil after the U.S. and China, and imports about 80% of its energy requirements.

In 2021, India bought about 12 million barrels of oil from Russia. That’s between 2% to 5% of its crude imports, Samir N. Kapadia, head of trade at government relations consulting firm Vogel Group, previously told CNBC.

However, India’s Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said India bought 419,000 tonnes of crude oil from Russia in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year that began in April 2020, according to local reports. He reportedly told parliament this was just 0.2 % of the total import of 175.9 million tonnes.

Indian media reported this week that state-owned Indian Oil Corporation bought two shiploads of distressed Russian oil — 3 million barrels in each trade — through traders at deep discounts. Another firm, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation reportedly bought two million barrels of Russian crude Urals. 

“There are also not many refineries with the capacity to process Russian crude,” Joshi told CNBC, pointing out that the oil purchase would serve to send the signal to Moscow that India had not sanctioned Russia. 

                         Security concerns.

India, which depends largely on Russian military equipment as it faces a border standoff with China, will also want an update from Lavrov on delivery dates of pending arms deliveries, including the S-400 air defense system.

While heavily dependent on Russian arms since its first purchase of Mig-21 fighters back in 1962, India has steadily moved closer to the West in the past decade.

It is the centerpiece of the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific strategy to contain Chinese diplomatic and military aggression in the region. While its trade with the U.S. is over $100 billion, the comparative figure for Russia stands at about $8 billion.

India’s security needs cannot change overnight, said Joshi.

“The larger concern is security. India depends on Russia for legacy defense equipment. The spares all come from Russia. Who will replace that?” he said, adding that oil remains secondary in bilateral ties.

Addressing India’s defense issues, the U.S. deputy National Security Advisor implied that Russia was not dependable.

“The more Russia becomes China’s junior partner, the more leverage China gains over Russia, the less and less favorable that is for India’s strategic posture,” Singh told a local Indian TV channel on Thursday.

“Does anyone think that if China breaches the Line of Actual Control, that Russia would now come to India’s defense? I don’t,” he said. The Line of Actual Control refers to the 2,100-mile-long unmarked border that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.

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Russia and India will find ways to trade despite sanctions, says Lavrov

Russian foreign minister meets Narendra Modi and praises India’s refusal to condemn Ukraine invasion.

The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, has afforded Russia’s foreign minister the honour of a meeting as Sergei Lavrov praised India’s refusal to condemn the Ukraine invasion.

Lavrov, who is visiting the country, predicted Moscow and Delhi would find ways to circumvent “illegal” western sanctions and continue to trade.

Modi had not met the string of other foreign ministers to arrive in Delhi in recent days, including the UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, and the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi, so Lavrov looks to have been singled out for attention by the Indian leader.

India has abstained from successive United Nations resolutions censuring Moscow, calling only for an end to violence, and has increased its oil purchases from Russia, its biggest supplier of arms.

Truss, in India on Thursday, had tried to cast the battle as one between democracies and autocracies, but India, the world’s most populous democracy, does not seem willing to accept this, especially if it requires India to break with Russia on issues such as arms sales and a future realignment of the global security architecture in which the US has a less prominent role.

Lavrov said: “These days our western colleagues would like to reduce any meaningful international issue to the crisis in Ukraine … [We] appreciate that India is taking this situation in the entirety of facts, not just in a one-sided way. I can only say that the balanced position of India which is not influenced by blackmail or diktat methods inspires our respect.”

Lavrov also claimed Ukraine was showing increasing understanding that joining Nato was not an option. “Friendship is the key word to describe the history of our relations, and our relations were very sustainable during many difficult times in the past,” he said.

His Indian counterpart, Dr S Jaishankar, reiterated “the importance of cessation of violence and ending hostilities” and said: “Disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.”

Lavrov said Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine was not “just about Ukraine, its neutrality”, but rather a “question of world order”. He suggested that the US had now suppressed all attempts at establishing autonomy by Europe, with the latter now completely in lockstep with Washington, a status to which he said Europe was reconciled.

In words designed to attract approval in India, he said the west’s real endgame was the re-establishment of a unipolar world.

Lavrov said the US and its allies were trying to conceal their true objectives, portraying their confrontation with Russia and some other nations as a “battle between democracies and autocracies”. However, according to the Russian foreign minister, the west itself has become one big autocracy with the US at the helm.

But there are also tensions in the relationship between India and Russia. Western financial sanctions have reportedly made it difficult for India to pay Russia for imports including arms, oil, rough diamonds and fertilisers. Russia has written to India’s defence ministry requesting clearance of back payments worth $1.3bn, according to the Economic Times newspaper.

India and Russia have been working on a rupee-rouble mechanism to facilitate trade and get around western sanctions on Russian banks, according to media reports. Lavrov told reporters he was confident the two countries would find a solution.

“Many years ago we started moving in our relations with India, with China, with many other countries from using dollars and euros to more and more use of national currencies. Under these circumstances this trend I believe will be intensified,” he said. “We will be ready to supply to India any goods which India wants to buy … and I have no doubt that a way will be found to bypass the artificial impediments which illegal unilateral sanctions by the west create.”

Lavrov arrived in Delhi on Thursday from China, where he had hailed Beijing as part of a new “multipolar, just, democratic world order”.

India shares western alarm over China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, and is a member of the so-called Quad alliance with the US, Japan and Australia.

The US is pushing the argument that Russia will end up the junior partner in its relationship with China and that the more leverage China gains over Russia, the less favourable that is for India.

* * * * * * *


India will continue to buy oil from Russia.

(Bloomberg) — India will continue buying cheap Russian oil in the nation’s interest, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, even as pressure mounts to isolate Kremlin.

“We have started buying, we have received quite a number of barrels — I would think three-four days supply and this will continue,” Sitharaman said at a CNBC-TV18 event on Friday. “India’s overall interest is what is kept in mind.”

Indian state refiners have been doubling down on Russian barrels that are being shunned away by European buyers since the beginning of war in Ukraine. The country has contracted Russian crude oil for deliveries over the next three to four months, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said last week.

Russia is offering more oil to India at a discount of as much as $35 a barrel on prices before the war, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

“I would put my energy security first. If the fuel is available at a discount, why shouldn’t I buy it?” Sitharaman asked.

The comments come in the backdrop of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to the country. The South Asian nation has stayed away from outrightly condemning Russia despite piling pressure from the U.S. and its allies.

Crude at a discounted rate can help keep a check on prices in India, which imports 85% of its oil needs. Fuel retailers have started passing high prices to consumers, putting pressure on the government to slash fuel duties. It has so far resisted the move even as Brent crude hovers above $100 a barrel.

The finance minister also said that it would be better to have a Unified Payments Interface-like platform that can interact with another system, just like SWIFT — the Belgium-based cross-border payment system operator.

India is considering a proposal from Russia to use a system developed by the Russian central bank for bilateral payments, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Under the plan, which is still under discussion, rubles will be deposited into an Indian bank and converted into rupees, and the same system will work in reverse.

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