This Article First Appeared In The Times Of India On May 21, 2023
Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, complains that Indian refiners are buying large volumes of Russian crude oil and processing this into transport fuels like diesel for sale in Europe. “If diesel or gasoline is entering Europe. . . coming from India and being produced with Russian oil, that is certainly a circumvention of sanctions and member states have to take measures. ”
India has long been a large diesel exporter to the EU, and such exports have risen sharply in the last year. India should emphatically reject Borrell’s accusation and insist on its right to export diesel to the EU regardless of where it buys crude oil from. Under the rules of the World Trade Organisation, once Russian oil is converted by India into refined products like diesel, those cannot be described as Russian and are unambiguously Indian.