India's monthly purchase of Russian energy is less than Europe's in an afternoon, foreign minister S Jaishankar said on Tuesday at the crucial 2+2 dialogue in the United States amid the ongoing debate over the purchase of oil from Russia as the Ukraine war enters day 48.
"If you're looking at (India's) energy purchases from Russia, I'd suggest your attention should be on Europe. We buy some energy necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon."
"We're against the conflict, we're up for a dialogue and diplomacy, we're for urgent cessation of violence and we are prepared to contribute in whatever way we can. We have made a number of statements that outline our positions in our parliament and in other forums as US secretary of state Antony Blinken pointed out," the 67-year-old minister said as he shared the stage with US leaders.
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki- at a media briefing - had also clarified that India's energy imports from Russia were about 1-2 per cent of the total imports. Washington has maintained that it's "a country's individual decision to ban imports" to put pressure on Moscow.
At 2+2 talks, Blinken yet again stressed that India "has to make its own decisions about how it approaches this challenge (Ukraine)". "We share profoundly values of freedom, openness, independence and sovereignty. India's relationship with Russia developed over decades at a time when US wasn't able to be a partner to India. Today, we're able and willing to be a partner of choice with India.
"...In our judgment, imp that all countries, especially those with leverage, press Putin to end war. It's to stand together and speak with one voice to defend the dias that we share," he said.
If you're looking at(India's)energy purchases from Russia, I'd suggest your attention should be on Europe. We buy some energy necessary for our energy security. But I suspect, looking at figures, our purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon:
Amid criticism over New Delhi continuing to import from Moscow, S Jaishnkar had earlier also insisted that there has been a campaign against India. "It is interesting because we have seen for some time what looks almost like a campaign on this issue. I was reading a report today that in March, Europe bought, I think, 15 per cent more oil and gas from Russia than it did the month before," he had said.
The crucial 2+2 dialogue comes as Europe sees one of the worst wars in decades.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually met US President Joe Biden.
At the 2+2 dialogue, Blinken also acknowledged India's help to Ukraine amid the conflict.
While India has abstained from voting at the United Nations against Russia, it has repeatedly called for an end to the violence.