Crude supplies are said to have increased by a multiple of 50 since April
Russian oil sales to India have increased at least fiftyfold in the past three months and now account for 10% of the country’s total imports, according to a senior government official quoted by The Economic Times.
“It is now one of the top 10 suppliers” the official told the Indian business daily on Thursday.
Western sanctions against Moscow have created an opportunity for Indian refiners to increase their purchases of Russian oil at discounted prices, while some European customers have shunned purchases of Russian crude.
Before the conflict, Russian oil represented only 0.2% of all the oil imported by India. The country’s refiners are said to have purchased some 25 million barrels of Russian oil in May alone. At this stage, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia to become India’s second largest oil supplier, after Iraq.
India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, has come under fire from the West for its continued purchases of Russian oil. However, New Delhi brushed off criticism, saying such imports represent only a fraction of the country’s overall needs.
In May, India’s petroleum ministry said that “Energy purchases from Russia remain miniscule compared to India’s total consumption.”
The Indian government has called for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, but imposed no sanctions on Russia and abstained in a United Nations General Assembly vote in March condemning the military operation of Moscow.
For more stories on economics and finance, visit RT’s business section