‘No moral conflict’: Hardeep Puri Schools Reporter Questioning On India Buying Russian Oil Amid Ukraine War

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'No moral conflict': Hardeep Puri Schools Reporter Questioning On India Buying Russian Oil Amid Ukraine War

Indian minister of petroleum and natural gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson said that “there is no moral conflict” in buying Russian oil, pointing out that India’s import of Russian energy is much less compared to Europe’s import of Russian energy.

“The purchases of Russian oil was 0.2% in the last Financial Year. Europe buys in one afternoon what we buy from Russia in one quarter. Let’s be clear about the perspective,” said the petroleum minister. “We do not buy from X or Y. We buy whatever is available. I don’t do the buying. It’s the oil companies that do.The government does not do the buying. Oil trade is conducted by economic entities,” said Puri. “We will buy oil and gas from wherever we can get it,” he added.

Hardeep Singh Puri informed that the largest supplier of oil to India was in fact Iraq. Speaking on the topic of morals, Puri said that “we owe our moral duty to our consumers. We have a 1.34 billion population and we have to ensure that they are supplied with energy (whether it is petrol or diesel).” When Anderson asked Puri if, due to the West’s supposed commitment to the Russia-Ukraine war, the US tightened the sanction on Russia and India was in essence pressured to scale down its purchase of Russian oil, Puri responded by saying, “I have just come back from the United States.I have said that on record – We do not feel any pressure. Modi’s government doesn’t feel pressure. We are the 5th largest economy in the world.”

Puri explains fundementals of energy markets to Anderson asked Puri what would happen if the US or EU told India to specifically halt Russian oil purchases, in response to which, Puri attempted to explain the fundamentals of energy markets to her. “If India or some other country did not buy Russian oil and Russian oil were to go off the international energy market, what would happen to international prices?” Puri was trying to explain that if the amount of oil supply in the international market were to go down, which is what would happen when no country buys Russian oil and all the oil would be just lying in storage, all the countries will now purchase the remaining sources of oil, which mean more demand for a limited supply of oil. “The price would go up to $200,” said Puri, speaking about the negative consequences on international energy markets if India were to stop the purchase of Russian oil. From an energy markets perspective, it is India’s purchase of Russian oil that is keeping international oil prices still reasonable, if India were to stop buying Russian and start buying oil from sources Europe is buying, the surge in prices would be extreme.

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