The senior EU ambassador wants more attention paid to European buyers of Indian products made with Russian oil

Days after saying that the European Union needed to limit the import of refined petroleum products from India, Josep Borrell, the top foreign affairs and security official for the European Union, suggested that EU entities buying refined goods from India were mainly to blame for the infiltration of Russian oil-based goods into the European Union.

Mr. Borrell’s Friday afternoon blog piece, “Some Clarifications on the Circumvention of EU Sanctions Against Russia,” has as its headline However, the diplomat observed a remarkable increase in the volume of oil India was acquiring from Russia before that nation invaded Ukraine.

The EU does not want to buy Russia’s energy exports because we do not want to assist its conflict with Ukraine. Additionally, Mr. Borrell stated in his letter, “We don’t want to offer Russia the components and technology products it needs for its war machine. He was very clear that even though the sanctions were not extraterritorial, other nations could not be “forced” to follow them because they solely related to transactions between EU firms and Russia.

The ambassador asserted that China had increased its purchases of Russian oil after the $60 per barrel cap on oil prices set by the “Group of Seven (G-7)” major nations went into force in December 2023.

In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this week, Mr. Borrell made the claim that it was “normal” for India to take advantage of the opportunity to buy less expensive oil below the price cap. Mr. Borrell reiterated this claim. But he also brought up another issue: refined petroleum goods from India, which are currently offered in Europe, were once made with Russian oil.

According to the data once more, he said, India’s export of refined goods like jet fuel or diesel to the EU climbed from 1 point (1 million barrels) in January 2022 to 7 points (4 million barrels) in April 2023.

The minister of external affairs, S. Jaishankar, and Mr. Borrell had private talks on Tuesday in Brussels. Russian oil is no longer regarded as Russian, according to European Council regulations, if it is “substantially transformed” in a third nation, Mr. Jaishankar indicated to a reporter during a briefing on Tuesday night.