Garavi Gujarat USA

Not asked India to cut Russian oil: US official


THE US has not asked India to cut Russian oil imports as the goal of sanctions and the G7-imposed $60 per barrel price cap is to have stable global oil supplies while hitting Moscow's revenue, an American treasury official said.

India has emerged as one of the top buyers of Russian sea-borne oil since Western nations imposed sanctions and halted purchases in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

‘It is important to us to keep the oil supply on the market. But what we want to do is limit Putin's profit from it,' Eric Van Nostrand, who is performing the duties of US Treasury assistant secretary for economic policy, said in New Delhi, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The US officials were in India last week meeting with government officials and business leaders to discuss cooperatio­n on anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and implementa­tion of the price cap.

Van Nostrand said that buyers can purchase Russian oil at deeper discounts outside of the price cap mechanism, if they do not use Western services like insurance and broking, thus limiting Moscow's sales avenues.

‘They (Russia) have to sell oil for less,' he said. The sanctions are intended to limit the options available to Russia to three: sell its oil under the price cap, offer deeper discounts to buyers if they circumvent Western services, or shut its oil wells, Van Nostrand added.

The price cap imposed by the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations, the EU and Australia bans the use of Western maritime services, flagging the transporta­tion when tankers carry Russian oil priced at or above $60 a barrel.

Asked about the sale to Western nations of refined products produced from Russian oil, Anna Morris, acting assistant secretary for terror financing at the US Treasury, said that would not breach the sanctions.

‘Once Russian oil is refined, from a technical perspectiv­e it is no longer Russian oil. If it is refined in a country and then sent forward, from a sanctions perspectiv­e that is an import from the country of purchase,' Morris said.

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