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India's Position Matters, Says Hillary Clinton as New Delhi Remains Adamant on Russian Oil Imports

© AP Photo / Richard ShotwellHillary Clinton participates in the Hulu "Hillary" panel during the Winter 2020 Television Critics Association Press Tour, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif.
Hillary Clinton participates in the Hulu Hillary panel during the Winter 2020 Television Critics Association Press Tour, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.04.2022
India has imported more than 15 million barrels since Moscow began a special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February. US President Joe Biden had said that buying Russian oil is not in India's interest, although New Delhi made it clear to the West that it would put its national interests first on this issue.
Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has tried to nudge India into joining the global response against Russia for its military operation in Ukraine, saying "efforts to stop Russia's aggression and also Chinese aggression, are in everybody's interests".
However, Clinton admitted that Europe's dependency on Russian oil is a much bigger problem for the US than India, as New Delhi buys a "minuscule" amount of crude oil from Russia.

"It is important to recognise that India is held in very high regard as a nation whose position matters. If Russia is looking around desperately (to) find somebody somewhere who is going to be neutral or be helpful… We are hoping that India will be firmer in making clear that this [military operation] is absolutely wrong," Hillary Clinton said.

Speaking at the Times Network India Economic Conclave, the former Secretary of State also invoked the Quad grouping of Australia, India, Japan and the US in her argument to persuade New Delhi to follow the western stance on the Ukrainian crisis.
"I understand the difficult choices that you have to make. My argument is that now you are a part of the Quad. I have said in the past that you should look East and also look West," she added.
On Thursday, India's foreign ministry said that its position on importing energy resources from Russia has been "steadfast" and "clear".
"We are looking at how to keep our economic relations stable. I am not aware whether [energy imports] have been increased or not. We procure very little oil from Russia, almost no gas. This is not done on a G2G basis," Arindam Bagchi, the Indian foreign ministry spokesman, said.
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Bagchi also disagreed that the US has warned New Delhi about buying energy from Russia.
"I think we have a very good conversation with the US at various forums and at various levels, and I'm not particularly sure I would agree to that kind of a characterisation," he said.
On several occasions, Indian officials said that India would be happy to buy oil from any country, including Russia, at a discount to ensure the availability of energy resources to its 1.3 billion people at a cheaper rate.
High commodity prices have started denting India's growth as the Reserve Bank of India cuts the GDP forecast for 2022-23 to 7.2 percent from February's 7.8 percent.
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