The US government has denied allegations of India diverting Russian crude oil to the US by circumventing the economic sanctions imposed after the Russian war on Ukraine.

Visiting US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo told media that he has not seen any evidence of Indian companies circumventing sanctions that have been placed on Russia.

“Companies around the world, including those in India, the US and Europe, are taking the sanctions seriously and implementing them as well,” he said on his maiden visit to the Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai, on Wednesday.

Economic sanctions

The US had imposed economic sanctions on Moscow for its invasion on Ukraine and prohibited import of Russian-origin energy products including crude oil, refined fuels, distillates, coal and gas.

Last month reports emerged that the US Treasury Department has told India that an Indian ship picked up oil from a Russian tanker on the high seas and brought it to a port in Gujarat on the west coast, where it was refined and shipped on, Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Michael Patra was quoted recently.

The US-led coalition of the sanctions has broadened and the ultimate objective of the same is to reduce revenues Russia earns through oil exports while ensuring that there is a steady supply of energy, said Adeyemo.

“We have to look at the Russian invasion beyond the immediate concern about the sovereignty of Ukraine getting compromised,” he said, pointing to the economic consequences of the war, especially inflation.

“Indian consumers are paying a lot more for energy than they ought to,” he said and added that during his visit to New Delhi he will focus on discussing key shared priorities such as bolstering energy security, addressing food insecurity globally and combating illicit financial flows.

India has 560 million internet subscribers and 1.2 billion mobile phone subscribers, a massive market that will fuel innovation for years to come. According to study by McKinsey & Company, India is digitising at a faster rate than any other country, he said.

Both India and the US can reinforce the supply chains to protect against the sort of global shocks that have raised prices and idled factories in both the countries, he said.

“What is clear to me is that both of our countries will play pivotal roles in the next wave of technological innovation – and how it is deployed responsibly to the benefit of all segments of society – especially when our people and companies work together,” he said.

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