Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the fifth time this year. It was Jaishankar’s first visit to Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Jaishankar has stressed that his country would continue buying oil from Russia. India has become Russia’s largest oil customer after China as Western buyers seek to wean themselves off fuel from Moscow.
“As the third largest consumer of oil and gas and a country with not very high incomes, we have to look for affordable sources, so the India-Russia relationship is to our advantage,” Jaishankar said.
Russia’s share of India’s oil imports has surged from around 2% before the invasion of Ukraine to an all-time high of 23% in September.
For decades, India has relied on Russia for its military equipment. Russia is also the fourth-biggest market for Indian pharmaceutical products.
India has close ties to both Moscow and the West and is one of the few countries not to have condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine. New Delhi also does not support Western sanctions against Russia and instead favors dialogue as a way to resolve conflict.
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