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Putin & Modi hold warm phone call as India gorges on cheap Russian oil

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held an important phone call Friday wherein Modi underscored that India favors dialogue and diplomacy toward reaching a peaceful Ukraine solution. “In the context of the ongoing situation in Ukraine, Prime Minister reiterated India’s long-standing position in favor of dialogue and diplomacy,” a readout from his office said. But unlike interaction with Western leaders, including France’s Macron, it appears Modi kept things relatively “light” when it came to rhetoric on Ukraine.

Also high on the agenda was the very uncertain and calamitous state of global energy and food markets. Modi had days prior addressed G7 leaders, saying, “Even in the present situation, we have constantly urged for the path of dialogue and diplomacy. The impact of this geopolitical tension is not just limited to Europe. The rising prices of energy and food grains are affecting all the countries.”

But things aren’t so dire for either Russia or India when it comes to energy, as both appear to be positively benefitting from the West’s attempt to halt Russian energy flows to Europe, even as G7 countries mull imposing a price cap on Russian oil.

This as Russia is quickly muscling into India’s oil market, with Modi’s India only too happy to gorge on cheap Russian barrels, suggesting that Russia could now be positioned as India’s biggest single supplier: “Deprived of many of its traditional European buyers, Moscow is on course to deliver somewhere between 1 million and 1.2 million barrels a day to the world’s third-largest oil importer this month,” according to the report.

This is even significantly far beyond supplies coming from Saudi Arabia, though India relies more heavily on Iraq crude flows.

Russia’s readout of the Modi call focused on messaging that Moscow fundamentally lays blame on the West for the emerging global food crisis in the wake of Ukraine grain shipments not being available for export.

“Putin drew attention to the systemic mistakes made by a number of countries, which led to the disruption of free trade in food products and provoked a significant increase in their price. Unlawful sanctions against Russia have exacerbated an already difficult situation,” the Kremlin press service said according to TASS. “Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia has been and remains a reliable producer and supplier of grain, fertilizers, and energy carriers, including to Indian partners,” the call readout said.

Meanwhile, Western populations are being told to ‘shut up and sacrifice’ for the indefinite foreseeable future.


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