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EAM defends Russian crude import, takes jibe at Europe


NEW DELHI: Europe imported six times the fossil fuel energy from Russia than what India has done since February 2022, when Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, foreign minister S Jaishankar said as he again defended India’s decision to ramp up crude imports from Russia.
In an interview to an Austrian broadcaster, Jaishankar attacked Europe for complaining about India’s rising energy imports from Russia as he said if the European political leadership wanted to soften the impact of the conflict on their population, they should extend the same privilege to other political leaderships as well.
“Europe has managed to reduce its imports while doing it in a manner that is comfortable. If at a (per capita income) of 60,000 euros, you are so caring about your population, I have a population at $2,000. I also need energy, and I am not in a position to pay high prices for oil,” he said.
Jaishankar also pointed out that Europe has imported six times the energy from Russia than India has done since February 2022.
“Essentially, if it was a matter of principle, why didn’t Europe cut off energy from Moscow on February 25,” he asked, responding to a question.
As per an agency report, Russia for the second month in succession emerged as India’s top oil supplier in November, surpassing traditional sellers Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Russia, which made up for just 0.2% of all oil imported by India in the year to March 31, 2022, supplied 9,09,403 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to India in November.
On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar reiterated India’s position, saying it was on the side of peace and New Delhi’s efforts have been to return to dialogue and diplomacy as differences cannot be settled through violence.
“In international relations, you have complicated situations. The countries concerned should resolve their issues through the path of peace and diplomacy,” the minister explained.



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