Russia No Longer Plans on Trading Oil and Gas With West

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on March 10, 2023 that it will no longer rely on trade partners in the Collective West for its energy trade. Instead it will shift its energy policy eastward where it will trade more with India and China.

“To put it bluntly, the change is that we would not rely on any partners in the West anymore. We would not allow them to blow up the pipelines again,”  Lavrov said to reporters in the Indian capital of New Delhi, on March 10.  In this instance, Lavrov was referring to the Nord Stream pipelines that US military forces reportedly blew up after allegedly receiving direct orders from US President Joe Biden to do so.

Add New“Energy policy of Russia will be oriented towards reliable and credible partners. India and China are certainly among them,” declared Lavrov, who had visited India to attend the G20 summit.

Russia was Europe’s primary energy supplier in recent years. However, after the launch of Russia’s military incursion against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the European countries decided to ban Russian energy exports.

After Europe’s energy export ban on Russia, India and China took advantage of the increased supply and decreased demand to turn into Russia’s largest crude oil importers at discount prices.

India itself obtained a waiver from the US for the anti-Moscow sanctions, which allowed it to continue importing Russian oil with no penalties.

India has long been a strategic partner for Russia, which dates back to the Cold War, when the Soviet Union had intimate ties with India. In the present, those ties remain strong in military matters. For example, India remains Russia’s largest buyer of weapons. From the timeframe of 2018 to 2021, Indian spent $12.4 on military weapons, with Russian imports making up $5.51 of its weapons purchases from abroad. 

China has gravitated more closely to Russia in the last few decades as it has come to realize that the US is looking to contain it on economic and military fronts. Now that Russia has been effectively deplatformed from the West, it will look east for economic and military partners. China and India, which have hard-nosed realist foreign policies, are the optimal partners for Russia in this regard.

All things considered, the world is bifurcating along Collective West vs. Eurasian lines. How this will affect global prosperity and stability remains to be seen.  

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