No sanctions on India for buying Russian oil, says US Asst Secretary of State


US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried on Wednesday said the US is comfortable with the approach India has taken in buying oil from Russia and added that her country is not looking to sanction New Delhi as the relations between the two countries are most consequential.

Donfried was responding to a question during a telephone conference on India purchasing oil from Russia and said, “we are not looking to sanction India. Our relationship with India is the most consequential relationship.”

She also welcomed India’s support for the people of Ukraine by providing humanitarian assistance and a call by India for an immediate end to Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine.

While responding to a media query regarding India buying oil from Russia, a US official said, “By end of the decade Russia’s oil and gas will decline by 50 per cent. We do not believe that sanction policy to have universal hearings. We are comfortable with the approach India has taken. We are already seeing results in the budget deficit that Russia has reported.”

Donfried added, “We welcome PM Modi’s assertion that today’s era is not of war and his comments at the Nov 2022 G20 Summit in Bali calling for dialogue & diplomacy. India’s leadership role right now in G20 is commendable.”

US Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources Geoffrey Pyatt expressed that the energy security agenda that India and US are pursuing together is particularly important in light of what Russian President Vladimir Putin has done over the past year to disrupt global energy markets.

“By weaponizing Russia’s oil and gas resources, Russia has demonstrated that it will never again be a reliable energy supplier. It also caused a short spike in global oil and gas prices which continue to ripple around the world,” he said.

The US Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources said that even though India isn’t a participant in the price caps, it has effectively used its negotiating leverage which it derives from the price cap and the fact that large portions of the global market are no longer accessible to Russia, to drive down price of Russian crude.

Responding to a media query regarding Russia being the single largest supplier to India, Pyatt said, “US crude production continues to grow to reach a new record in 2024. The important role of US LNG and minister Hardeep Puri said in Bangalore that we have shared resources and minimized role in carbon footprint, India was one of the top ten markets for US LNG.”

Donfried said that we are coming to the one-year anniversary of Russian aggression on Ukraine. “Ukraine did nothing to provoke this war. Putin expected a quick victory but underestimated the Ukrainian people. It is unjustified and illegal,” she said.

She said that the US put sanctions on Russia to target Putin to stop the war. It is, however clear that Putin is not interested in diplomacy.

“Russia alone can end this war today. My boss US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that if Russia stopped fighting, the war will end but if Ukraine stops fighting then Ukraine will end. If Putin wins it would mean defeat for Ukraine and for all of us. I continue to be inspired by the people of Ukraine,” Donfried said.

She said we welcome India’s support to Ukraine by providing humanitarian assistance.

Geoffrey R. Pyatt during the conference said that US and India have so much to contribute in energy efforts. “Energy security agenda is particularly important,” Pyatt said.

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