After Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his “special military operation” in Ukraine, the dynamics of geopolitics changed drastically. India that has been following non-Alignment ideology, declared upfront that it will not toe West’s line. In addition to that, India also embraced its ties with its age-old partner Russia. While India’s clout grew on a global level, India-Russia ties touched the sky, ultimately benefiting India.
India saved Rs 35,000 crores
In the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic, big companies as well as start-ups went on a spree to lay off employees. Many business owners seeking benefit of the situation hired the same laid-off lot at a cheaper CTC. Something of the same sort happened with India in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Reports suggest that India has saved Rs 35,000 crores by importing Russian crude oil at a discounted rate. India would have spent Rs 35,000 crore more if it would have joined the West against Russia. Also, to count the benefits, if we take this data into account, India got the S-400 missiles for free, as it cost somewhere around Rs 350000-Rs 40000 crores.
As the West began its ‘sanctions-game’ against Russia, the oil prices all over the world soared up and India found its aapda mein avsar. The same time, Russia’s traditional buyers decided to shun their barrels and traders stuck with shipments started offering big discounts. It was during this time that India jumped onto the opportunity and opened its gate for Russian oil. India went on a bargain hunting mode and availed Russian oil at heavily discounted prices. During April- July, India’s mineral oil imports from Russia were registered at $11.2 billion, which was just $1.3 billion during the same period last year.
India’s decision to buy Russian oil and the benefits
Although met with a lot of criticism, India kept increasing the purchase amount along with increasing the discounts. India emerged to become the second largest buyer of Russian crude oil after China. India imported just 1% Russian oil before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, today Russian oil accounts for 12% of the country’s total oil. To add on, in July this year, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the second largest oil supplier to India.
Oil supplies and oil prices are crucial for India, as India imports 83% of oil-demand through imports, making the economy vulnerable. Buying oil from Russia, also helped the government manage its economic recovery after the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
India-Russia ties – Oil is just the tip of the iceberg
The Russia-Ukraine crisis may have become a bone of contention for the western nations and India but it is nothing less than a boon for India. As mentioned above, India is saving thousands of crores that is ultimately going to benefit its economic stability. Due to Russia offering cheap oil to India, other oil producing nations also lined up to offer cheaper oil, pushing India into a position above others. Other than oil, India is also getting a lion’s share of Russian coal that had incentivised higher buying of thermal coal used mainly in power generation. In addition to this, Russia and India have together opened another front against the West in the form of INSTC – the counter to BRI and Arctic exploration through Eastern Economic Forum.
The West had taken a self-destructive decision to sanction Russia and finance the war through military aids. Now, the growing India-Russia ties must be giving sleepless nights to the West.
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