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India may have shipped oil to the US without revealing its Russian origin

Babu Babu
  • Mimansa Verma
By Mimansa Verma

Reporter based in New Delhi


India’s booming trade ties with Russia, tricky with the West at the best of times, may just have turned sour.

The US has expressed concern that India may have shipped Russian crude to its shores in a “high sea sale” after processing it, Reuters reported over the weekend.

“High sea sales” are carried out after the dispatch of the goods from the port of loading but before arrival at the port of discharge. This way, goods are made available more quickly to the final buyer.

This, however, can sometimes be problematic. In this case, for instance, it violated the US sanctions on Russian goods.

An Indian ship loaded oil from a Russian tanker on the high seas and brought it to a port in Gujarat, where it was refined and shipped on, the report said.

“The refined output was put back on that ship and it set sail without a destination. In the mid-seas it received the destination so it reached at its course, went to New York,” Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Michael Patra said at an event to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence on Aug. 13.

The Russian crude was processed and converted into a distillate used for making single-use plastic, Patra said.

India’s trade with Russia has grown significantly after the Ukraine war, especially due to heavy discounts offered by the latter on their crude shipments.

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