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Every barrel of Russian oil delivered to India has ‘Ukrainian blood’: Ukraine minister

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday stated that each barrel of Russian crude oil delivered to India had portion of “Ukrainian blood” in it.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. (File Photo: Reuters)

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Wednesday criticised India for its continued buy of Russian crude oil amid Moscow’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, which is in its sixth month now.

“Every barrel of Russian crude oil delivered to India has a good portion of Ukrainian blood in it,” Kuleba said in a press conference.

WHAT IS INDIA’s STANCE?

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar defended India’s decision to buy discounted Russian oil, saying it was the government’s “obligation” and “ethical obligation” to ensure that the people in India get the “finest deal.”

Jaishankar, who arrived in Bangkok on Tuesday to attend the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting, took part in an event where he met members of the Indian community on Wednesday.

In an interaction with the diaspora, he said that while the US and some others may not appreciate India buying Russian oil, they have accepted it as New Delhi has not been defensive about its stand but made them realise that the government had the “ethical obligation” to ensure that the people got the “finest deal”.

The US and European nations have imposed heavy sanctions on Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine on February 24.

India has raised oil imports from Russia after the Ukraine war despite criticism from the west and continues to engage with Moscow for business.

A senior Indian government official said in June that India’s crude oil imports from Russia had jumped over 50 times since April. In May, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia to become India’s second-biggest supplier of oil behind Iraq as refiners snapped up Russian crude available at a deep discount following the war in Ukraine.

Indian refiners bought about 25 million barrels of Russian oil in May. In June, during a conference in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, Jaishankar defended India’s purchase of Russian oil, saying if Europe manages to procure oil and gas from Russia in a way to ensure that the impact on its economy is not traumatic, that freedom should exist for others as well.

(With inputs from PTI)

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