India will expand economic ties with Russia and continue to buy oil from Moscow, India’s foreign minister said, pointing out that imports of discounted crude from Moscow have worked to its advantage.
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said during a visit to Moscow that as the world’s third-largest consumer of oil, it is “our fundamental obligation” to ensure that Indian consumers have the “best possible access on the most advantageous terms to international markets.”
He made his comments after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.
In his first visit to Russia since the Ukrainian conflict erupted, the Indian minister reaffirmed New Delhi’s longstanding ties with Moscow calling it an “exceptionally steady” and “time-tested relationship.”
“Any objective evaluation of our relationship over many decades would confirm that it has actually served both our countries very, very well,” Jaishankar told reporters in response to a question about pressure from Western countries to reduce oil imports and join a plan by the Group of Seven countries to impose a price cap on Russian oil.