EU Keeping A Tab On Oil Products Made From Russia Crude Entering The European Market


The European Union raised concerns about the increasing number of refined petroleum products made from crude oil sourced from Russia entering the European market. The union stated that the products made in India render the economic sanctions against Russia invalid by being sold in the European region. 

The EU’s Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, noted on Saturday that these petroleum products are entering the European market in large quantities and the bloc is trying to find a solution to deal with the issue. According to a PTI report, the EU trade commissioner, in a conversation with journalists during his current visit to India, stated that Russia is using food and energy supplies to enhance it’s war and continue it’s attack on Ukraine. 

Elaborating on the food front, the EU leader cited Russia taking a step back from the Black Sea grain initiative, in turn blocking Ukraine from exporting food grains to the global market. In order to restrict Russia on the financial front to put a stop to it’s war efforts, the Western countries have levied some sanctions on the country including a price ceiling on Russian oil by the G7-plus countries, since it began the invasion of Ukraine in February last year. Other sanctions on Russia include oil and oil products exports, undertaken to restrict energy supply from Russia, which acts as the biggest revenue source for the country, the EU trade commissioner noted.

In the face of these restrictions, India’s import of Russian crude oil available at a discounted rate has seen a massive surge in the last year or so. Commenting on this, Dombrovskis said, “We are obviously aware that a number of countries, including China and India have not joined those sanctions. We are aware that Russia is actively seeking alternative markets for the lost European market.”

The EU leader noted that in the light of India and Russia’s increasing trade, new trade patterns can be observed now. He said, “We indeed see new trade patterns emerging. Those are some issues which are also the new developments which we are currently assessing. For example, what we see is now a rapid increase of refined oil products, so to say, imports in the EU from India. But if they are made with Russian oil, in a sense it defeats the purpose which we are putting in front of us as the EU, as a Western democratic world, to reduce Russia’s ability to wage the civil war…So this is something which will provide some reflection on that.”

Notably, trade with EU comprises about 11 per cent of the total trade for India, worth about €120 billion last year, making EU India’s second largest trading partner. While India ranks tenth in EU’s trading partners, contributing about 2 per cent of the total trade for EU. 

Commenting on the trade relationship, Dombrovskis said, “ We know that we are currently working in a conflictual geo-political situation. And in this context, the value of trust and reliability has increased substantially. So, we also see Russia’s instrumentalisation of its energy supplies and now food as tools (of) weapons of war and manipulation – there is no such thing as just goods or political trade…So it’s all linked together, trade matters, geopolitics. But also friendships matter. So that’s why the EU-India strategic partnership is so important.”

Also Read : Made Progress, But A Lot Of Work Ahead In FTA Talks With India: EU Trade Commissioner

The EU leader noted that both EU and India need to work together to address the global challenges. Currently, both regions are doing negotiations over three agreements, namely the free trade pact, investment protection agreement, and the geographical indications agreement. Notably, the economic relations between India and EU have been on an upward trend since the last few years. In April last year, both regions announced the India-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), set up with an objective to help the exchange of critical technologies related to multiple sectors like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and semiconductors. 


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