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India says it will buy oil 'from wherever it has to'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Union petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India will buy oil from wherever it has to.

India will continue to buy oil from wherever it has to, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri has said, noting no country has told New Delhi to stop buying Russian oil.

"The Indian government has a moral duty to provide energy to its citizens and it will continue buy oil from wherever it has to for the simple reason that this kind of discussion can't be taken to consuming population of India," Singh told reporters in Washington D.C. on Friday.

He then said not country asked India to stop purchasing oil from Russia.

“Have I been told by anyone to stop buying Russian oil? The answer is a categorical 'no'," He further added.

Ever since April, India's crude imports from Russia have jumped over 50 times, fulfilling 10 percent of the country's demand.

“India consumes 5 million barrels a day, and it’s going up. So now we are not told by anyone.. there’s understanding,” he said.

"There has been a fair amount of misconception on energy buys from Russia. Typically what Europe buys in one afternoon is what we buy in a quarter. We ended the financial year with a total amount of Russian oil import of 0.2%. Yes when 24th February took place, and in the following months imports from Russia significantly arose as a result of the dislocation in the market," Singh noted.

"But subsequently, other suppliers stepped in. And I think, in the following months, another middle-eastern supplier was in the No 2 situation. And Saudis were No 1 always and one quarter I think Russia moved up," the minister said.

The Ukraine war has caused western countries, especially Europe to gradually bring down their energy purchases from Russia.

On Thursday, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to cut oil production by two million barrels a day, to which Singh reacted by saying that it’s the sovereign right of the OPEC to decide on the oil production capacities.

“I have always traditionally taken the view, it is their sovereign right to decide what they wish to do, how much oil they want to produce and how much they want to put into the market,” he stated.

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