India – Russia Energy Ties

Editorial Analysis for UPSC - India – Russia Energy Ties

India – Russia Energy Ties


  • Due to the sanctions imposed by the west, many companies are ending their partnership with Russian oil and gas firms.
  • Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 major energy consortium consisting of major companies such as Shell and Mitsubishi are terminating from the project.


  • The Far Eastern region which is prone to earthquakes needs special technical expertise and engineering skills.
  • Even the economic input for exploration of minerals in the region is also huge.
  • Oil and gas sector is vital for the Russian Economy, specially after the Ukrainian crisis.
  • Therefore, Russia requires long term partner in the oil and gas sector in the Far Eastern region.
  • The alternative market for Russia would be in the South Asia, South East and the Eastern Asia.

India – Russia Energy Ties

  • The bilateral energy trade between the two nations remains significantly low considering its historical ties.
  • This is despite Russia being the third largest producer and India being the third largest consumer.
  • The fundamental reason for this is the geographical obstacles for the transportation of oil.
  • Amidst the conflict in Ukraine, Russia has offered to supply India with cheaper crude oil.
  • Indian companies though significantly increased their volumes of oil imports from Russia.
  • India’s total import of Russian oil despite buying additional volumes in March 2022, remained less than 1 per cent of its total oil import.
  • These figures increased to 18 per cent in May, 2022 as per a report published by CREA.

Strategic Challenges:

  • An increase in energy spending in the Russian Far East would boost naval ties between India and Russia and the Indian presence in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Shipments of Indian oil from the Russian Far East would also be free of the threat of piracy that still exists close to the Horn of Africa.
  • One could contend that China would, in a worst-case situation, ban imports of Indian oil from the Russian Far East.
  • However, considering the geopolitical alliance between China and Russia, the claim that China would find it challenging to halt Russian oil shipments to India is a convincing counterargument.
  • Even so, India might wield a similar leverage against China if the need ever arises by interfering with its oil supplies across the Malacca Strait.


           Source The Hindu