INDIA/UNITED STATES: India today expressed its concern over the price cap for Russian crude proposed by the G7 (Group of Seven Industrialized Countries).
In a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, “We are a USD 2,000 per capita economy. We are worried about the price of oil. The price of oil is breaking our back. That is our big concern,” ANI reported.
After meeting the media, Jaishankar said the two sides had a “brief discussion” on the price ceiling, which developing countries have deep concerns about. “We are working with partners to ensure that oil revenues do not support the Ukrainian war,” Blinken said at a joint news conference.
The G7 proposed the cap with the idea of limiting Russia’s revenue from oil sales as part of sanctions against it. The Biden administration is trying to resist pressure to enforce it to keep Russian oil available on the global market.
The states of the European Union are trying to reach an agreement on this contentious issue, which faces maximum opposition from member states.
Where the price ceiling will be set is a big issue for nations like India. Since the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions against Russia, India has been the second largest buyer of Russian oil after China, with Moscow offering deep discounts.
“You have to understand that during the last two months the energy market has been under a lot of pressure. Countries in the Global South have found it difficult to compete for limited energy, not only in terms of escalating prices but often also in terms of availability,” Jaishankar told reporters.
He raised concern at the moment’s problem saying that energy markets already under pressure must soften up. And the nations can judge any situation by how it affects their people and the other countries… there is a very, very deep concern among developing countries on how their energy security needs are addressed or not.
Jaishankar is visiting the US for bilateral consultations with several ministers, including Blinken. The discussion, he later said, was about political coordination and assessment of regional and global challenges.
During today’s bilateral talks, the US reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment on the conflict in Ukraine that, “this is not an era of war”. Referring to the comment during the debate, Blinken said: “We couldn’t agree more”.
Earlier today, Jaishankar held discussions with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon.
Referring to China’s stance in the Indo-Pacific region, Jaishankar said, “I share with you that the global situation has become much more challenging this year (due to) various reasons, especially the Indo-Pacific.”