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India May Dodge US-Led Coercive Oil Cartel as Part of ‘Strategic Triangle’ With Russia, China – Prof

By Rishikesh Kumar – Samizdat – 08.09.2022

The US hopes India and China will join a coalition seeking a cap on Russian oil prices to reduce their income. However, Delhi and Beijing have so far refused to bow to the pressure.

The US expectation that China and India would join a coalition of countries seeking to impose a price cap on Russian oil at a cheaper price sounds like an admission of failure to convince its close allies to stop buying Russian energy, an Indian expert says.

Swaran Singh, a professor at India’s Center for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament at the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, said that the refusal to denounce the Russian military operation in Ukraine and increasing Russian commodity imports by India and China “only strengthen their strategic triangle where India is the only exception for keeping close ties with the US.”

On Tuesday, US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo claimed that countries like China and India would take advantage of the price cap coalition. However, Singh believes the appeal of the US Treasury Secretary defies elementary logic, prompting him to wonder what makes Adeyemo think Beijing is going to do Washington’s bidding.

“While China has no possibilities of joining hands with the US in curbing prices of Russian oil, even India is least likely to join such a cartel. What is interesting is that there may be dissensions even within US alliance partners,” Singh told Sputnik.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to increase energy ties with Russia. Modi also underlined India’s interests in the areas of pharma and diamonds.

Nirmala Sitharaman, the country’s finance minister, on September 8 lauded Modi’s decision to increase Russian crude imports even in the face of Western sanctions announced by the US and some of its allies in response to Moscow’s special op.

Highlighting the pace at which India ramped up crude oil purchases at a “discounted price,” the Indian finance minister said that Russian crude accounts for 12-13 percent of the total basket, up from below two percent in February. China is the biggest importer of Russian crude oil.

Professor Singh mentioned that China and India are already beneficiaries of Russia voluntarily offering “deep” discounts.

“Why would they (India, China) try coercion to obtain something they have already been getting?” Singh underlined.

He also highlighted that the US and EU countries are themselves struggling to make up for shortages of oil and gas.

“Russia accounts for over 40% of gas and 30% of oil imports of Europe. And as winter approaches, it is Russia that has the power to dictate rather than the other way around,” Singh stated.

Since June, several US officials have visited New Delhi to pressure India to stop buying discounted crude oil from Russia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken termed India’s cheap oil purchase from Russia as support for Moscow. Despite this, Delhi has maintained that its crude purchases are meant to ensure the country’s national interests.

September 8, 2022 - Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | ,

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