Will join Russia oil cap coalition when alternative supply is ensured: Govt

India has said it will consider backing the price cap on Russian crude oil proposed by the US only when it will be assured of supplies from Venezuela and Iran. As India is largely dependent on imported crude, it cannot accept a situation where open market prices increase because of uncertain and restricted supplies, with a limit imposed on cheaper oil sources, reported The Economic Times.

The Joe Biden-led US administration has invited India to join the coalition of Russia’s oil price cap to reduce Moscow’s earnings from crude, which comes in the backdrop of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

US deputy treasury secretary Wally Adeyemo, who was in New Delhi last month, said, “If India is part of the coalition, it can have a say in deciding the price cap.”

“How can discussion on cap happen when supply sources are restricted?” a government official told ET, adding, “You can talk about a cap after Venezuela and Iran supplies are available in the market.”

A nuclear deal between the US and Iran is expected this month, a move that will open up crude sales from Tehran, easing global supply pressures. However, the oil supply from Venezuela has been restricted as the US has imposed economic sanctions on the nation.

On Friday, G7 finance ministers agreed to impose the cap to Russia’s oil price and decided to work out the details of the same later. Russia, reacting to this, said it would stop supplies to nations that have decided on the limit.

Russia on Monday said it would indefinitely shut Nord Stream 1 pipelines that supply gas to Europe, a move that spiked oil prices amid shortage fears. As India imports over 85 per cent of its crude demand, high oil prices hits the nation’s economy.

In August, India imported 738,024 barrels per day (bpd) of Russian crude oil, which was 18 per cent lower than in July, and 24 per cent than in June, as per data by Vortexa.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last month said that India is trying to get the “best deal possible for its citizens.”

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