On Wednesday, India sharply criticized the United States’ interference in the country’s stand to import crude oil and other goods from Russia after the Ukraine-Russia war. The US wrote to the Mumbai port asking it to ban Russian ships carrying goods from entering India due to the American sanctions against Russia. However, India asserted that it is New Delhi’s sovereign right to deal with global partners in the national interest.
According to the reports, the US Consulate in Mumbai directly wrote to the Mumbai port last month and asked it to block the Russian ships from entering the port. The US under the guise of ‘suggestion’, ordered the port to act in US’s favour due to the sanctions imposed by the States against Russia. The Mumbai port in turn wrote to the Directorate General of Shipping which asked the Ministry of External Affairs to look into the matter.
The MEA on Wednesday slammed the US for establishing direct communication with the Mumbai port and stated that it was India’s sovereign right to deal with the global partners in the national interest. It affirmed that the country will not deny permission to ships from any particular country from entering its ports. Meanwhile, the India-US bilateral ties watcher, Derek J Grossman from the RAND Corporation also criticized the US for attempting to discourage India from buying cheap crude oil and other goods from Russia.
Seems Biden admin has shifted tactics when pressuring India. Instead of speaking directly to New Delhi, US consulate in Mumbai writes a letter to Mumbai Port Authority to bar Russian ships. Of course New Delhi found out. Silly move by US.https://t.co/IJ7730Tejt— Derek J. Grossman (@DerekJGrossman) July 10, 2022
He called the United State’s move silly and tweeted, “Seems Biden admin has shifted tactics when pressuring India. Instead of speaking directly to New Delhi, the US consulate in Mumbai writes a letter to Mumbai Port Authority to bar Russian ships. Of course, New Delhi found out”. According to the reports, the US later stated that the conversation with India was private, but Grossman rightly hinted that such diplomatic conversations never remain private.
Following the conflict in Ukraine, the United States and its allies put tough economic sanctions on Russia, yet this has not discouraged India from engaging with the ally nation. Russian cargo ships transporting crude oil and other goods continue to visit Indian ports. Russia has been giving significant discounts on its energy exports, prompting India to increase its purchases from the nation. According to Kpler statistics, Russian oil arrivals into India in May were 740,000 barrels per day, up from 284,000 barrels in April and 34,000 barrels a year earlier.
The west has been lecturing and pressurising India while remaining the largest importer of Russian Oil, far more than India. In barely three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, India, and China have purchased $24 billion in oil, gas, and coal from Russia. According to another Bloomberg article, India paid $5.1 billion for Russian oil, gas, and coal, more than five times the value a year earlier.