India is playing an increasingly important role in global oil markets, buying more and more cheap Russian oil and refining it into fuel for Europe and the U.S.
Yet New Delhi has faced little public blowback because it’s meeting the West’s twin goals of crimping Moscow’s energy revenue while preventing an oil supply shock. And as Europe ramps us sanctions, India is only going to become more central to a global oil map that’s been redrawn by Vladimir Putin’s yearlong war in Ukraine.
"U.S. treasury officials have two main goals: keep the market well supplied, and deprive Russia of oil revenue,” said Ben Cahill, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. "They are aware that Indian and Chinese refiners can earn bigger margins by buying discounted Russian crude and exporting products at market prices. They’re fine with that.”