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SOURCE: Tribune News Service

India and China are coming in the cross-sights of the West over Russian oil, even as Moscow said it was confident that India did not want to join the sanctions. “Indian leaders, including my colleague S Jaishankar, have publicly rejected any attempts to involve them in restrictions on the Russian energy purchases.They have made it clear that they will follow their own interests,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The two ministers had planned a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, but the US has not issued a single visa to the 56-member Russian advance team and a delegation headed by Lavrov.

The West’s economic war against Moscow is set to take a decisive turn after the G7 agreed on Friday to impose a price cap on Russian oil from December 15. This is supposed to be a trump card for it could reduce Moscow’s ability to fund its war in Ukraine without further stoking global inflation.

“What China and India do is going to need to be a national decision for them,’’ said a senior US Treasury Department official. The Biden administration has been pushing for governments to introduce a price cap for months as it found that after sanctioning many Russian energy exports, Moscow continues to earn billions of dollars a month by selling oil to several countries, mainly to China and India.

Lavrov said India had always been a Russian priority and besides joint work in the oil sector in India, Siberia and the Far East, both sides were set to diversify the energy portfolio by “green” transition. “It is indeed a relationship that is developing robustly and rests on a solid foundation of friendship since India’s struggle for Independence. Now the West is saying it must force the entire world to stop cooperating with Russia, to impose sanctions. From the perspective of common sense, how can they make such public statements in relation to such countries as India, China, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia,” said the Russian Foreign Minister