NEW DELHI: India is exploring options for buying Russian crude oil, authorities said on Tuesday, with prices there plunging to record lows in the wake of a global backlash to the Ukraine conflict.
New Delhi enjoys historic diplomatic and defence ties with Moscow, hosting a rare overseas trip by President Vladimir Putin late last year, and has called for an end to the violence in Ukraine but stopped short of condemning the invasion.
Its government is looking to cut a spiralling energy bill after oil prices surged in the wake of the conflict, at the same time as a Washington embargo prompts other potential buyers to shun Russian oil.
Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the government was having conversations “at the appropriate level of the Russian Federation” regarding the purchase.
“Discussions are currently underway. There are several issues to be gone into like how much oil is available,” he told parliament. Puri added that the government was weighing issues related to insurance, freight and payment for the crude.
Many countries, including European nations, remain heavily dependent on fuel from Russia, the world’s second-largest crude oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia.