Russian President Vladimir Putin chats with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Moscow
India and Russia are working to finalise a trade payment mechanism in their national currencies. New Delhi has rejected Western calls to join in sanctioning Moscow in response to the special military operation in Ukraine.
India has received a dual-payment mechanism proposal from Russia to separate the mode of oil payments from other commodity trade, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
In a meeting held with Indian Central Bank officials in Mumbai, Russian representatives reportedly asked for dollar or euro payments for Indian oil purchases, and national currency payments for trade in other commodities.
The two countries have held several rounds of discussions to stabilise trade after the US and European nations imposed severe sanctions on Russia, which Moscow has denounced as “economic war”.
On Thursday, the Indian government stated that its position on unilateral sanctions “hasn’t changed one bit.”
“We have always stood by UN sanctions,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said when asked if Prime Minister Narendra Modi would discuss other measures imposed by Western countries with European leaders during his three-nation visit beginning on May 2.
“We can pay in whatever currency that we work out. There are, of course, constraints,” Bagchi added.
Multiple sources in New Delhi told Sputnik that India’s refiners are negotiating a long-term deal with Russia’s Rosneft to purchase around 16 million barrels oil per month beginning in June this year.
Indian Oil, the country’s biggest refiner, did not bid for Rosneft’s last tender as it was looking for a long-term contract at a discounted price. If the negotiation goes through, Indian Oil will receive 9 million barrels of oil from June, with delivery to be ensured by the Russian firm.
India imports around 4.25 million barrels of oil a day to fulfil its needs.
The foreign ministry spokesman mentioned that some oil purchases are not being made directly on a government-to-government basis.
“So there are private companies, there are oil purchasers who do it,” Bagchi said.
Data from financial market analysts Refinitive revealed that India was the destination for 25 of the 380 oil tankers that departed from Russia between 24 February and 18 April, eight times higher than the same period last year.
India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has also asked oil refiners to evaluate the available opportunities to buy stakes in Rosneft after the British Petroleum announced it would abandon its 19.75 per cent share in the Russian oil giant.
Reuters reported that the ministry also asked OVL, the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, to consider increasing its share up to 50 per cent in the Sakhalin 1 project in Russia’s Far East by purchasing the entire 30 per cent stake held by Exxon Mobile Corp.

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