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US journalist threatens India with sanctions for buying Russian oil, while all NATO countries continue paying Russia billions for energy and other products

It is notable here that after a lot of angry venting and 'sanctions' against India after the 1998 nuclear tests, the USA had quietly removed most of the civilian sanctions by the end of 1999 and by the end of 2001, all defence sanctions against India were abolished too. It is not easy, or beneficial to sanction a big economy with 1.3 billion people.

Yesterday, it was reported in many media outlets that Russia has offered India crude oil at a discounted price. A report in Reuters quoted an unnamed Indian government official saying that Russia is offering crude oil and other commodities at a discounted rate and India is considering to take the offer.

“Russia is offering oil and other commodities at a heavy discount. We will be happy to take that,” the quote mentioned. Another report in Mint quoted two unnamed officials stating that India is working on a currency arrangement for the trade, preferable a Rupee-Rouble trade.

US-European “experts” rattled, demand sanctions against India

As soon as the reports were shared, many US and European ‘experts’ started condemning India while saying that the US government should sanction India if India buys Russian crude oil. Some ‘experts’ even brought in sanctimonious dismissal, claiming that buying crude oil from Russia is immoral and against values.

‘Journalist’ Trish Regan’s tweet was worded as a threat, saying that if India buys Russian oil, there should be US sanctions against India. She even added that US sanctions will devastate the Indian economy.

Another ‘expert’ claimed that the UK gives a lot of ‘aid’ to India and if India buys Russian oil, that aid money should be stopped.

NATO countries continue to purchase Russian oil and gas, paying billions of dollars every day

These ‘experts’ have seemed to conveniently ignore that all NATO countries have continued to purchase billions of dollars worth of Russian oil and gas while using heavy words to denounce the Russian military operation in Ukraine. All major NATO nations have also supplied a lot of arms and weapons to Ukraine in the meanwhile, while they have continued to purchase Russian oil and gas. So basically, they are paying both sides to continue the war.

Not just oil and gas, but these nations are also importing Uranium, fertilizers and other products from Russia.

US threats of sanctions and their reality

The US and many European nations have brought in heavy sanctions against Russia and blocked payment systems, while mostly barring energy imports and energy transactions. We have discussed in detail why many NATO nations are dependent on Russia’s energy exports.

However, the loose and whimsical threats of ‘sanctions’ have started to amuse and irritate many across the world now. Trish Regan’s tweet warning India of sanctions got a wide variety of responses from Indians. they reminded Regan that the US cannot keep threatening every country with sanctions, because sanctions, in the long run, are mostly unproductive and hurt both ways.

Some pointed out that Indian Oil has bought the Russian crude at a significant discount from Vitol, reportedly 3 million barrels for May delivery and it did not see a problem paying for it because oil, as a commodity, is not banned.

Twitter user Nandini Tandon reminded Regan that the USA continues to import 96% of its potassium fertiliser from Russia and its ‘ban’ on crude oil and gas accounted for only 8% of its imports.

Activist Raghav Awasthi reminded Regan that the actions after the 1998 nuclear tests ‘worked very well’ for India and ended up boosting the Indian economy.

It is notable here that after a lot of angry venting and ‘sanctions’ against India after the 1998 nuclear tests, the USA had quietly removed most of the civilian sanctions by the end of 1999 and by the end of 2001, all defence sanctions against India were abolished too. By 2008, the USA had recognised India as de-facto civilian and military nuclear power. Multiple US governments over the years, have proclaimed India as a “major strategic partner’.

India, as a rapidly growing economy with a population of over 1.3 billion people, is a big market and USA understands that it is not in their interests to go against India, not when they are looking for allies in the Indo-Pacific.

What the US government had said about India’s ties with Russia

After the Russian military operation in Ukraine began, the USA, UK, the UN and many global powers have tried to persuade India to openly condemn Russia and denounce Putin’s actions. India, however, has stood firm on its ground, abstaining from UN votes against Russia and calling for solutions at a diplomatic level in a peaceful manner.

The Biden administration has made it clear that they understand that India has a broad strategic partnership with India and they are okay with it.

White House on India-Russia relations

USA tries for support from Venezuela, UAE and Saudi

After years of harsh sanctions against Venezuela, the USA had sent a delegation to meet Venezuelan president Maduro recently, reportedly to restart oil imports. The leaders of UAE and Saudi Arabia have reportedly refused to talk to US president Joe Biden over their relationships with Russia and oil productions. Both leaders have, however, spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There is a growing concern among many that in its rush to rally against Russia, the governments of the USA and other NATO nations are taking decisions that may hurt their own economies.

Rupee-Rouble trade is not new

Rupee-Rouble trade is nothing new. India and Russia had initiated it long ago, to reduce their dependency on the US dollar. Even the payment for the S-400 missile defence system was agreed to be on rupees. between 2014-2019 Rupee-Rouble trade had surged almost 5 times, from 6% to almost 30%, as per a TOI report.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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