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Energy: High crude prices ‘breaking our back’, says Dr. Jaishankar

Energy: High crude prices ‘breaking our back’, says Dr. Jaishankar

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Virendra Pandit

 

New Delhi: Amid India hinting that the G-7 proposal for a price cap on Russian oil may not be acceptable to it, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said higher crude prices are ‘breaking our back’.

According to the media reports, India may not support the G-7 initiative to cap the price of Russian oil on the Ukraine issue. It is not among New Delhi’s priorities, as India remains focused on dealing with its energy security concerns.

India, which has a USD 2,000 per capita economy, is concerned over the spike in the price of oil due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It is “breaking our back,” Dr. Jaishankar said on Tuesday.

Addressing a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken after holding bilateral talks with him, he said the developing countries are deeply concerned about how their energy needs are addressed.

Speaking about the Ukraine war, the EAM said: “We have taken the position privately, publicly, confidentially, and consistently that this conflict is not in anybody’s interest.” The best way forward is to return to dialogue and diplomacy, he said.

“Look, we have concerns about the price of oil, but we are a USD 2,000 per capita economy. When the price of oil is breaking our back and it’s our big concern,” he said.

Dr. Jaishankar was responding to a question on the G-7’s proposed cap on Russian oil. “In the past, whenever we have been able to contribute something, we have been open to it,” he said. “Right now, there are some issues.”

With sanctions imposed by the West and its allies on Russia, which made little impact on Moscow, the G-7 countries and the European Union have mooted an oil price cap on Russian crude and refined products to limit Kremlin’s revenues.

The West and its allies believe that the sale of Russian oil is funding the Ukraine war. But India has pointed to the hypocrisy of some nations which continue to buy Russian energy but are trying to stop other countries from doing so.

Earlier this month, in a statement, the G-7 Finance Ministers said they specifically designed the price cap to reduce Russian revenues and its ability to fund the Ukraine war. The US asked India to join the coalition to cap the prices of Russian oil, but New Delhi said it would “carefully examine” the proposal before taking any decision.

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