U.S. Tries To Bash India into Line To Stop Cooperation with Russia
Aug. 15, 2022 (EIRNS)—London and Washington are fit to be tied over India’s refusal to go along with their demands for global sanctions against Russia, and is instead rapidly increasing its purchases of Russian oil and engaging in discussions over how best to facilitate trade in national currencies—i.e., in rubles and rupees. According to an article in RT, headlined “U.S. Angry with India over Russian Oil,” Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor Michael Patra reported on Aug. 13 that the U.S. Treasury had warned Indian authorities that they were breaching the sanctions. The central banker stated: “You know that there are sanctions against people who are buying Russian oil, and this was reported to us by the U.S. Treasury.... It turns out, an Indian ship met a Russian tanker in mid-seas, picked up oil in the mid-seas, came to a port in Gujarat [India], it was processed in that port and converted into a distillate,” which was then shipped to New York. Patra made it clear that the U.S. authorities were leaning heavily on India to get back into line.
The U.S. is also applying pressure on the banking and financial side. On Aug. 10, there was a meeting between Indian and Russian bankers to discuss trade in national currencies, and the possibility of integrating India’s internal system for transmitting financial information (SFMS) with Russia’s Financial Messaging System (FSFS), the Economic Times reported on Aug. 12 citing banking sources. RT wrote that “Indian banks and financial institutions do not support the idea [of non-dollar trade].... India’s financial institutions reportedly fear that the step may be treated as an attempt to circumvent U.S. penalties that have been imposed on Russian banks as part of broader sanctions in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.”