Source : News18
|The US Consulate General in Mumbai wrote directly to the Mumbai Port Authority last month, asking it to not allow Russian vessels to dock at the port because of American sanctions against Russia. (PTI File)|
India has taken exception to the “suggestion” by the US consulate in Mumbai that Russian ships should not be allowed at Mumbai port and has asserted that it is “New Delhi’s sovereign right to deal with global partners on national interests”, The Economic Times reported.
The US Consulate General in Mumbai wrote directly to the Mumbai Port Authority last month, asking it to not allow Russian vessels to dock at the port because of American sanctions against Russia. The Mumbai Port Authority has, in turn, written to the Directorate General of Shipping, which has asked the Ministry of External Affairs for instructions.
Sources said it was India’s sovereign decision to engage with countries in national interests, according to the report.
Derek J Grossman from the RAND Corporation and a keen watcher of India-US ties tweeted: “Seems Biden admin has shifted tactics when pressuring India. Instead of speaking directly to New Delhi, US consulate in Mumbai writes a letter to Mumbai Port Authority to bar Russian ships. Of course, New Delhi found out. Silly move by the US.”
According to reports, the US later said the conversation with India was private, but sources pointed out that such diplomatic conversations are not private. Members of the diplomatic community said the move by the US consulate was unnecessary.
Russia has been offering big discounts on its energy exports, which prompted India to buy more from the country. Russian oil arrivals into India for May were at 740,000 barrels a day, up from 284,000 barrels in April and 34,000 barrels a year earlier, according to data from Kpler.
Recently, a Bloomberg report said India is looking at purchasing more low-cost Russian oil from Rosneft PJSC. These deals were over and above the purchases India already made through other deals.
India and China have bought oil, gas and coal worth $24 billion from Russia in only three months after its invasion of Ukraine. Out of this, India spent $5.1 billion on Russian oil, gas and coal, more than five times the value of a year ago, according to another Bloomberg report.