NEW DELHI India has hinted that supporting the proposed price cap on Russian oil – an initiative of the G7 group of developed nations – is not one of its priorities as the country is focussed on dealing with its energy security concerns.

“Our concern right now is that energy markets already under stress must soften up. We would judge any situation, frankly, by how it affects us and other countries of the Global South because, as I communicated to the Secretary (Blinken), there is a very, very deep concern in – among developing countries about how their energy security needs are addressed or not,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishanker said replying to a question at the joint media briefing with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in Washington DC, on Tuesday, on whether India was willing to join the price cap mechanism.

The G7 nations are pursuing a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil to ensure that Russia’s oil revenue gets minimised, limiting its capacity to fund its war with Ukraine, while there is no disruption in global oil supplies.

The Indian Minister said that he had a brief discussion on the issue of price cap with his US counterpart and more technical people were engaged between the two systems on the particular subject.  “It is of course a G7 initiative. Now, you have to understand that in the last few months, the energy markets are already under very great stress. Countries in the Global South have found it difficult to compete for limited energy, not just in terms of pricing, escalating pricing, but often in terms of availability. There are tenders – countries have had tenders for which they don’t even get a reply from suppliers,” Jaishankar said explaining the tough situation nations such as India were having to deal with.

India has no intention at the moment to support the price cap mechanism for Russian oil as its arrangement with the country on oil trade is working well, another source told BusinessLine. “India is right now not under much pressure to give its consent to the price cap plan. It seems that even within the EU there are some that are not too keen on the price cap. The Blinken administration also does not seem to be in a hurry to threaten secondary sanctions on countries that do not support a price cap,” the source said. 

Blinken, at the press briefing, pointed out that the US was working on implementing the oil price cap to keep Russian oil flowing, but at a steep discount. “That of course will deny Russia excess revenues that it would use to prosecute its aggression against Ukraine and, at the same time, as I said, keep oil flowing on world markets.  We’re working to continue to surge LNG supplies to Europe in cooperation with global partners, including in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

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