India not dependent on Russia for oil: Foreign Secretary

BL Kolkata Bureau | Updated on: Apr 18, 2022
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary

Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary

Says sanctions will affect Indian trade; govt working to minimise impact

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday said India is not dependent on Russia for oil, but when prices go up globally, it impacts the country and the consumers.

According to him, the unilateral sanctions imposed primarily by the West on Russia will have an impact on India’s trade with the country and its investments there.

“Russia is not one of the larger energy suppliers to India. Only 2 per cent of our oil imports are from there, so we are not dependent on Russia for oil. But, obviously when oil prices go up globally, it impacts us, consumers and inflation, and the day-to-day life. It also brings down our GDP growth rate but this is something common to countries all over the world. What we can do is mitigate the impact through proactive measures that the government is taking and will take; this is something that we have to work closely with industry on,” Shringla said at an exclusive e-session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

One immediate impact (of the Russia-Ukraine crisis) is on the inflation due to increase in oil prices globally. “Over 70 per cent of our requirement of energy is imported and when prices of oil go up, this will be impacted. Then it actually makes an overall impact on inflation because once energy prices increase, everything else increases and this is something we have to bear with under the circumstances,” he said.

Centre’s efforts

The government is trying its best to ensure that the impact is as minimal as possible and has worked with other countries to release strategic reserves of petroleum in order to bring down the prices.

“We are concluding the most competitive options in terms of oil purchases so that we have some stability and cushion. We have a strategic reserve and we also buy oil and LNG on a long-term basis from many of our partners,” he said.

Lankan crisis

Responding to a query on the situation in Sri Lanka, he said India is in touch with the Sri Lankan authorities to see how best it can work with them to alleviate the situation.

“Peace stability and prosperity of Sri Lanka is in our direct interest and we would do whatever we can to promote that. India has a significant number of investments in Sri Lanka and we also have fairly robust trade ties with them,” he said.

Published on April 18, 2022
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