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S Jaishankar’s response to the EU on taking action against India for buying Russian oil

S Jaishankar’s response came after an EU diplomat sought action against India for its purchase of Russian oil amid the war.


Responding to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell’s remarks calling for action against Indian products refined from Russian crude, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday (local time) advised him to consider EU Council regulations.

“Look at EU Council regulations, Russian crude has been largely diverted in a third country and is no longer treated as Russian. I would urge you to look at Council Regulation 833/2014,” said Mr Jaishankar.

This comes after the EU’s top diplomat said earlier that the EU should crack down on India which is reselling Russian oil as refined fuel including diesel to Europe as Western nations move to tighten sanctions on Moscow’s energy sector.

“India is buying Russian oil, it’s normal…” But he wants the bloc to take action on refined products coming from Indian-made Russian crude, Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, said in an interview with the Financial Times.

While Borrell met Mr. Jaishankar at the technology business talks in Brussels, he was not present at the ensuing press conference.

In his place, the EU’s executive vice-president on competition, Margrethe Vestager, said there was “no doubt about the legal basis for the sanctions”, and that the EU and India would conduct the discussion as “friends … with an extended hand and of course, not with your finger”.

Besides Mr. Jaishankar, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister of State for Entrepreneurship, Skills Development, Electronics and Technology Rajiv Chandrasekhar attended the meeting.

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Jaishankar on Monday arrived in Brussels on the last leg of his three-country visit that includes Bangladesh, Sweden and Belgium.

Also earlier, Mr Jaishankar defended India’s imports from Russia while indirectly criticizing the West for pressuring New Delhi to reduce its trade with Russia in light of its military action in Ukraine.

He wondered how Europe could make decisions to prioritize its energy needs and at the same time ask India to do something else.

“Our trade with Russia is on a very small level – 12-13 billion US dollars, compared to European countries. We have also offered the Russians a range of products… I don’t think people should read more about it. It is a legitimate expectation of any trading country to increase their trade The foreign affairs ministry said earlier in December while addressing a joint press conference with its German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock.

“I would urge you to look at those numbers. There is a website called ‘Russia Fossil Fuel Tracker’ that would give you country-by-country data on who is actually importing what and I think that could be very useful.” added.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)