Not Russian to decide

The Story
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has yet to make a commitment to the effort to cut off Moscow’s energy income after the Ukraine invasion.

What’s the value of the India-Russia energy trade?
Even though India receives little of its oil from Russia, and against Washington’s suggestion that the India-Russia energy trade is not in India’s interest, the Asian country recently made a major purchase of Russian oil just as other democracies are trying to isolate President Putin.

What alternatives are there for India?
President Biden had a video call with Modi on Monday during which he asked the prime minister not to buy more Russian oil – instead, the U.S. could help India diversify its energy sources. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president had “made it clear that he doesn’t believe it’s in India’s interest to accelerate or increase imports of Russian energy or other commodities.”

What’s India saying to that?
At a separate State Department news conference with Secretary Antony Blinken, India’s foreign minister pointedly suggested the focus of Washington’s concern about energy purchases from Russia should be Europe, not India. “I suspect, looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon,” he said.

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