Berlin, despite Western sanctions imposed on Russian oil, it reaches European markets through an alternative market, at a time when information and figures from European energy centers indicate that India is importing, refining and re-exporting Russian crude to Europe.

Figures released by European specialized centers have prompted EU foreign policy and security chief Josep Borrell to threaten action against India for circumventing Western sanctions on Russia.

"If diesel and refined gasoline arrive from India, which is from Russian crude oil, it certainly means circumventing the sanctions, and it also means that EU member states will take action," Borrell said.

The Indian government, for its part, responded to the accusations by Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar by "proposing" the European official and other officials in Brussels and European capitals to review the EU regulations on sanctions, "referring to his country's commitment to its regulations."

Consecutive penalties

Since the start of the Russian war on Ukraine more than a year ago, the European Union has imposed several packages of sanctions on the Russian oil sector, in December 2022 Russian oil shipments by sea to the Union were banned, and in February 2023 the import of gasoline, diesel and other derivatives was banned.

The Kpler Center for Data Analysis, based in the Austrian capital, Vienna, believes that the European measures have not been effective due to the arrival of Russian oil bis to the countries of the Union, pointing out that India looks at the angle of its purely economic interests away from the discussion of energy security and the Ukrainian war, and does not consider itself part of the "political game."

The specialist in tracking oil shipments at the "Kepler" center, Victor Katuna, told Al Jazeera Net that Russian oil exports to India constituted only 1% of India's needs before the Russian war on Ukraine, noting that they now range between 40% and 45%, and that India imported in April 2023 more than two million barrels of Russian oil per day.

According to Katuna, the tankers carrying Russian crude oil are now heading to the ports of several countries, most notably India, instead of European ports, "on the western coasts of India there are several refineries, including the Jamangar plant, which is the largest in the world."

The expert adds that the Kepler Center data indicates a significant rise in the past months in India's exports of gasoline, diesel and other derivatives towards the European Union countries, adding that New Delhi does not have huge oil reserves, which means a significant increase in its import of Russian oil.

$42 billion in 12 months

The Finnish Energy Research Center (CREA) indirectly accused the West of funding Russia's war on Ukraine, stressing that Russian oil reaches Europe via India.

The Finnish center confirms that in the past 12 months, Western countries have imported oil products worth 42 billion euros of Russian oil through several countries, led by India.

The report indicates that the European Union in the mentioned period was the largest importer of oil products from those countries, with the value of its imports amounting to 17.7 billion euros, while Australia comes in second place with a value of 8 billion, the United States with 6.6 billion, the United Kingdom with a value of 5 billion, and Japan with 4.8 billion euros.

According to the center, diesel comes at the forefront of imported petroleum products by 29%, jet fuel by 23%, and gas oil by 13%.

Penalties.. "Tiger without teeth"

On the feasibility of Western sanctions on Russia, Victor Katuna, a specialist in tracking oil shipments at the Kepler Center, says that these sanctions remain a "tiger without teeth" if they do not include Asian countries, especially India and China, stressing that "if the West wants to harm the Russian oil industry, the only way to do so is to prevent India and China from buying Russian oil."

The problem for Western countries, whether within the framework of the European Union, G7 or the United States, is that trying to prevent India or China from buying Russian oil "will lead to oil prices rising even to $7 per barrel."