New Delhi says Washington is worried that oil products from Russia were transferred to the US via India
Washington has approached New Delhi with queries about Russian oil products that were allegedly shipped to the US from India, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Michael Patra.
According to Patra, the US Treasury informed the country’s authorities that an Indian vessel allegedly picked up oil from a Russian tanker on the high seas and delivered it to a port in the state of Gujarat on the country’s west coast, where the oil was processed and then shipped to New York.
“You know that there are sanctions against people who are buying Russian oil, and this was reported to us by the US Treasury… It turns out, an Indian ship met a Russian tanker in mid-seas, picked up oil in the mid-seas, came to a port in Gujarat, it was processed in that port and converted into a distillate which actually goes into making single-use plastic. The refined output was put back on that ship and it set sail without a destination. In the mid-seas it received the destination so it reached its course, went to New York,” Patra said at an event in Odisha celebrating 75 years of Indian independence.
The official did not reveal the name of the ship in question, nor provide any other details on the matter, but said “that’s the way war works, it works in strange ways.”
The US banned Russian oil and oil products from entering the country earlier this year, as part of sanctions aimed at Russia in connection with the situation in Ukraine.
India has abstained from sanctioning Moscow and, while prior to this year it rarely bought Russian oil, has stepped up purchases tenfold since March, taking advantage of the discount Moscow has offered. According to Bloomberg, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the South Asian nation’s second-biggest supplier in June, second only to Iraq.
The US Embassy in New Delhi did not comment on Patra’s statement when asked by Reuters.
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