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Borrell called for limiting imports of Indian fuel from Russian oil

May 16, 2023

The European Union should take tough measures against the resale of Russian oil to Europe as fuel by India.

This was reported by RBC-Ukraine, citing an interview of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, with the Financial Times.

"If diesel fuel or gasoline comes to Europe ... from India and produced from Russian oil, it is certainly a circumvention of sanctions, and member states must take action," Borrell said.

Last year, India became the largest buyer of Russian oil, which Western countries rejected because of sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Access to cheap Russian oil increased production and profits for Indian refineries, allowing them to export refined products to Europe and take a larger share of the market.

"The fact that India buys Russian oil is alright ... But if they use it to be a hub for refining Russian oil and selling refined products to us ... we have to act," Borrell said.

Before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, India normally exported an average of 154,000 barrels per day (bpd) of diesel and jet fuel to Europe. But that figure rose to 200,000 bpd after the EU banned imports of Russian petroleum products as of Feb. 5 this year.

Any mechanism to stop the flow of Russian oil would have to be implemented by national authorities, Borrell said, suggesting that the EU could target buyers of Indian refined fuel they believe is derived from Russian oil.

"If they're selling, it's because somebody is buying. And we have to look at who is buying," he said.

It was previously reported that Russian oil imports to India increased tenfold in 2022.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 16/05/2023

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