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India Sees No ‘Moral Conflict’ in Buying Oil from Russia

Sept. 6, 2022 (EIRNS)—In the wake of last week’s G7 finance ministers’ announcement of an attempted price cap on Russian oil sales, it is widely being acknowledged that the move will be useless unless nations such as China and India, neither members of the Group of 7, agree to the coalition. Indian Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri was interviewed on Sept. 5 by CNBC at the Gastech 2022 conference in Milan, and provided an instructional course in a real defense of peoples and values, against the ideological fantasies of hypocrites.

When Hadley Gamble asked about the price cap, he replied that there are many factors involved, such as the supply shortages, COVID disruptions, food and fertilizer shortages, all of which are complicating a response to such an initiative. “Now what will the proposal mean? We will look at it very carefully. Who will be the participants? What will be the implications, etc.” When she then asked if he had a moral conflict by buying oil from Russia, Puri made his priorities clear: “No there’s no conflict. I have a moral duty to my consumer. Do I as a democratically elected government want a situation where the petrol pump runs dry?” Gamble tried to trap him saying, that Russia “did invade a democratically elected country,” he interrupted, “No I’m not getting into that debate. It’s a question of energy.... And by the way, those that wanted to do that ideological punitive action—they’re still buying [from Russia] and they’re going to be buying for a while. So that moral conflict question should be asked to those who have addressed it.”

Gamble was getting upset, so she goaded him further: “So who is responsible for the energy crisis? Russia or the West?” Puri replied by describing his 39 years as a diplomat, and that he was presiding on the UN Security Council and warned against use of force in Libya. “See what’s happened to Libya today!” And in Syria, “see what’s happening,”  he witnessed the resolutions calling for military intervention into Libya and then Syria. He warned: “Please be very careful about what you are unleashing. Countries can get unraveled, and those consequences are still being felt.”

He discussed how 25% of the world increase in oil consumption will come from India, which with population of 1.4 billion, currently consumes 5 million barrels/day of oil, a number which will continue to go up to 6, 7, even 9 and beyond, and if India cannot navigate this current economic and energy crisis, and isolate its citizens from that, the consequences will be terrible. “Energy is the lifeline of economies,” he insisted. But the hypocrisy is astounding: Whereas India buys 0.2% of its oil from Russia, “the Europeans buy more [oil from Russia] in one afternoon than I do in a quarter,” the Minister charged. (Of course, the Minister could also have noted that India is being attacked by the West for not stopping its purchases from Russia, while at the same time Europeans are attacking Russia for not allowing purchases by Europe!)

To make matters even worse for Western ideologues, Puri did not spare those talking about going “green” in an energy crisis such as exists today. “Again you have to be realistic about that. If you don’t survive at the point at which you are now, the chances of being able to make the [green] transition are going to be just that much more difficult,” he added, chuckling.

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