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India Says Russian Oil Imports Help Its Inflation Fight

India’s crude oil flows from Russia have soared from 2% of its total imports to more than 12% since February – when Russia invaded Ukraine

Crude oil storage tanks
India is pressing hard to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels


India has admitted that importing Russian oil is part of the country’s inflation-management strategy with New Delhi claiming that it’s not alone in using the tactic.

The country’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman made the claim as India’s crude oil shipments from Russia were shown to have jumped to between 12% and 13% of its total imports since February – when Russia invaded Ukraine – from about 2% before then.

India is the world’s third-biggest consumer and importer of crude oil, and Sitharaman said Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserved credit for balancing trade and other ties with various countries.


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“I give credit to the statesmanship of the prime minister to make sure globally that we did keep up the relationship with all countries but yet managed to get the Russian fuel, which is what Japan is doing today, which is what some other countries are doing,” Sitharaman said at an event in New Delhi.

Despite Western pressure, India has failed to condemn Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, instead calling for a diplomatic solution to the crisis and an end to violence. Russia has for decades been India’s biggest foreign supplier of defence hardware.

Indian government ministers have repeatedly said the country needed to keep buying energy from Russia to keep inflation under check.

Indian retail prices in July were 6.71% higher than a year earlier. Although the annual inflation rate has now fallen for three months, it has exceeded the central bank’s tolerance band of 2% to 6% for seventh months in a row.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

India Likely Selling Refined Russian Oil to West, Study Says

China and India Doubled Share of Russian Oil in a Year

India Sails to Rescue of Russian Oil Tankers Hit by Sanctions



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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