India shouldn’t fall for rupees-for-rubles deal


New avenue: Shipping containers are seen loading imported products onto trucks at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port. India may test the West’s tolerance if it agrees to rupee-ruble trade using Russia’s communication channel SPFS to move funds. — Bloomberg

INDIA wants to go on trading with Russia for reasons that are more practical than to swipe at the West. For one thing, New Delhi relies heavily on Moscow for defence procurement, a dependency that will be hard to shed overnight with new suppliers.

For another, Russia is reportedly offering India a US$35 (RM147.35) discount per barrel on the pre-war price of flagship Urals grade oil. Cheap energy imports can help prime minister Narendra Modi put a lid on rising domestic discontent with high pump prices.

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