- Sputnik International, 1920, 13.01.2022
Russia-NATO Row on European Security
Russia proposed draft agreements on security guarantees for NATO and the US in late 2021 requesting the alliance not to expand eastward as Moscow considers such a move a threat to its national security. NATO insists it will not allow its "Open Door" policy to be slammed shut.

India 'Happy' To Take Offer to Buy Discounted Russian Crude On Rupee-Ruble Exchange - Reports

CC0 / Pixabay / Indian money
Indian money - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.03.2022
India imports 80 percent of its oil and gas from the Middle-East but only 2 to 3 percent from Russia. However, now that major crude benchmark prices have hit their highest levels since 2008, there is a strong case for Delhi to turn to cheaper Russian crude to cap its energy import bill and attempt to make a post-COVID economic recovery.
India is considering Russia’s offer to buy crude oil and other commodities at discounted prices and the decision to proceed with the deal by setting up a rupee-ruble payment mechanism could be taken this week, several news outlets reported on Monday.

"Russia is offering oil and other commodities at a heavy discount. We will be happy to take that. We have some issues such as tanker, insurance cover and oil blends to be resolved. Once we have that we will take the discount offer," an Indian government official told Reuters.

Indian currency - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2022
Russia-NATO Row on European Security
Indian Economist Calls For Rupee-Rouble Trade to Bypass Western Sanctions Over Ukraine
Bloomberg quoted Indian officials as saying that the government-backed State Bank of India (SBI) and UCO Bank are part of ongoing consultations to set up a rupee-rouble trading scheme.

“Under the proposed mechanism, rubles could be deposited into an Indian bank after converting them into rupees and vice versa. There are some concerns, however, on how to peg the currencies, and also on how to balance the trade as India is a net importer of Russian goods, including defence equipment,” 'Bloomberg' reported.

According to the report, the Indian government is in favour of having a “floating exchange rate” with Russia. India is also in the process of preparing a list of items it could export to Russia in order to narrow the $5 billion bilateral trade deficit between the two nations, officials have said.
A rupee-ruble exchange would also help Indian exporters to clear payments to the tune of $500 million, which have been in limbo since the US, the European Union and other western allies slapped economic sanctions against leading Russian banks, including the central bank, because of Moscow’s security operations in Ukraine.
Top Russian banks have also been excluded from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) network, a financial intermediary that helps execute international transactions.
Further, India is also reportedly looking at sourcing raw materials for the manufacture of fertilisers from Russia and Belarus, as New Delhi looks to contain its fertiliser subsidy bill.
Indian officials reckon that the fertiliser subsidy bill could rise 200 percent - by $2.6 billion to $3.9 billion - in the next financial year.
"If we can get cheaper fertiliser from Russia then we will take that. It would help in easing some fiscal concerns," an official told Reuters.
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