12 Sep 2023 09:34

India pays for Russian oil in hard currency, no payments in rupees in past 18 months - ambassador

VLADIVOSTOK. Sept 12 (Interfax) - India pays for Russian oil, purchases of which it has ramped up in the past 18 months, exclusively in hard currencies, not in rupees, the country's ambassador to Russia, Pavan Kapoor said.

This needs to be mentioned since the balance of bilateral trade and national currencies are being discussed, he said at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.

There have been reports in Russian media claiming that huge amounts of rupees are accumulating in India due to India's purchases of Russian oil for rupees, but this is not the case, Kapoor said.

In the past 18 months in which India has purchased so much Russian oil, the country has not made a single payment for oil in rupees, they were all made in hard currencies, Kapoor said, referring to currencies such as the U.S. dollar, euro, British pound and other freely convertible currencies.

The subject of "hung up" rupees for Russian exports as a factor of influence on the Russian currency market has been actively discussed in the Russian media recently. Former Otkritie Bank head Mikhail Zadornov, for example, said that one of the key factors in the ruble's depreciation is the large amount of "hung up" rupees for Russian exports to India. But the head of state bank VTB , Andrei Kostin said only "a relatively small portion of rupees is hung up" and a substantial share of Russian trade with India is still conducted in "unfriendly" currencies.