The US has informed India that an Indian vessel was used earlier in 2022 for exporting fuel produced from Russian crude to New York via high-seas transfers, a top official associated with the Indian central bank mentioned on Saturday.
The US Treasury Department reported to India that an Indian vessel collected oil from a Russia-based tanker when on high seas and carried it to a port located on Gujarat’s west coast, where it was reportedly refined and then shipped on, informer the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India named Michael Patra.
The US sanctions on Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 restrict the import of Russian-origin energy products to the US, including refined fuels, distillates, crude oil, coal, and gas.
The refined output was placed back on the vessel and set sail without a predefined destination. When in the mid-seas, it got the destination, and so it reached its course and went to New York, Patra mentioned at an event conducted to celebrate India’s 75 years of independence.
The US embassy in New Delhi said it had no immediate comments.
Patra’s comments are India’s first official public reference to US concerns. Delhi has reportedly not taken part in sanctions against Russia. It hasn’t also condemned what Moscow refers to as a “special military operation” in its neighbouring nation.
Patra said he was informed that Russia’s crude was processed and converted into a distillate. It is used for manufacturing single-use plastic. He didn’t identify the Indian refiner or the vessel.
He said that that’s how war works. He added that it works in some strange ways.
India, the world’s third major oil consumer and importer, rarely bought Russia’s oil in the past. However, since the war began, India’s refiners have started snapping discounted oil from Russia, shunned by several Western countries and firms.
References: Business Standard