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Russian oil heading to India despite sanctions – Bloomberg

Several tankers have reportedly been spotted anchored near the Asian country’s ports

Three tankers loaded with Russian Sokol-grade oil have arrived at Indian ports, despite being targeted by Western sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing vessel-tracking data.

Supertanker Nireta has been anchored near Visakhapatnam on India’s east coast, according to the media outlet. Two other vessels, Vostochny Prospect and Erecter, reportedly shipped crude to Jamnagar in the west, both signaling Sikka Port as their destination. Meanwhile, Clyde Noble, another tanker hauling Sokol crude, is currently on its way to Sikka.

According to Bloomberg, in the month to mid-January, ten shipments of Russian crude headed for India failed to discharge at the country’s ports, with at least five vessels returning through the Malacca Strait. Further cargoes added to the backlog, which reached as much as 18 million barrels.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Indian state refiners had to stop buying Russian crude last year, after New Delhi advised them against implementing payments in Chinese yuan, due to strained relations with Beijing.

Refiners in India have become major buyers of Russian crude since Western importers opted to stop purchasing it as a sanction against Moscow. However, Indian buyers have, since late last year, faced major difficulties, due to tougher enforcement of restrictions.


READ MORE: India buying more US oil amid Russia sanctions

Washington levied new sanctions on exports of Russian crude in February, having blacklisted Sovcomflot and more than a dozen tankers linked to the Russian state-owned firm. One of the tankers currently off the Indian coast, Vostochny Prospect, is owned and managed by the Russian state-owned corporation.

The news agency noted that it’s not clear if the tankers would discharge in India, or whether issues with delivery and payments due to the sanctions have been overcome.

 

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