Russia has never been richer after selling $37 billion in oil to India last year

Advertisement
Russia has never been richer after selling $37 billion in oil to India last year
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia speaking at a conference in 2014. .Saurabh Das/AP
  • Russia's record revenue in 2023 was partly attributable to India's huge appetite for Russian crude.
  • India took in $37 billion of Russian oil last year, 13 times what it bought before the Ukraine war.
Advertisement

Russia has never been this flush with cash — and it's partly thanks to India, which snapped up a monster amount of Russian crude last year.

Russia's federal revenue soared to a record $320 billion in 2023 — an amount partly attributable to India's huge appetite for cheap Russian oil, according to a new report from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air shared with CNN.

The nation bought $37 billion of crude from Russia last year, the report said, around 13 times what it purchased from Russia before the war in Ukraine.

India has been a huge customer of Russian crude since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine. After being slammed by Western trade restrictions, Moscow has doled out hefty discounts to its allies, like India and China, who have since gobbled up huge amounts of oil from the nation.

The two countries have replaced most of Russia's Western customers, with Russia diverting nearly all of its oil shipments to China and India alone, a top official said last year. In particular, Russia accounted for 35% of India's oil purchases in 2023, according to an analysis from S&P Global.

Advertisement

India, one of the largest oil refiners in the world, is also known to process Russian crude before passing it off to Western nations, which banned Russian crude in late 2022. India likely exported around $1.3 billion of oil products of Russian origin to the US from December 2022 to the end of 2023, the CREA analysis found.

Meanwhile, $9.1 billion of Russian oil products were indirectly purchased by nations who are enforcing sanctions on Russia — 44% more than the amount purchased the previous year, the think tank said.

India, though, is facing mounting pressure to comply with Western trade restrictions — a possible reason Indian exports of Russian oil just slumped to their lowest level in a year in January.

There are also signs that the nation is turning away fully loaded tankers of Russian oil. A sanctioned tanker holding Russian crude was reported to drift off the coasts of India late last year as Indian officials considered whether to let the ship dock. Five other oil tankers turned away from India after idling near its shores for about a month, Bloomberg reported.

{{}}