By Nithi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The United States has expressed concern that India is using fuel made from Russian oil to disguise its origin and export it via the high seas to New York, defying US sanctions. A central bank official said on Saturday.
The US Treasury Department told India that an Indian ship had picked up oil from a Russian tanker and taken it to a port in Gujarat on India’s west coast, where it was refined and transported, the vice governor of the Reserve Bank of India said. Michael Patra.
U.S. sanctions against Moscow over its February invasion of Ukraine barred imports of Russian-origin energy products to the U.S., including crude oil, refined fuels, distillates, coal and gas.
“The refined product was put back on the ship and left untethered. In the middle of the ocean it reached its destination and it went to New York,” Patra said during an event to celebrate India’s 75 years of independence. .
The US embassy in New Delhi said it had no immediate comment.
Patra’s comments were India’s first official public reference to these US concerns. Delhi has not adhered to economic sanctions against Russia and has not condemned what Moscow calls “special military action” in Ukraine.
Batra said he was informed that the Russian oil had been processed and turned into a filter used to make single-use plastics. He did not identify the Indian ship or the refinery.