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Indian refiners, both state-owned giants like Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum, and private players, are now shying away from Russian crude oil transported by PJSC Sovcomflot tankers. This move comes amid tightened US sanctions and growing scrutiny to avoid any violation.

The concern lies in potential repercussions for dealing with sanctioned entities. As a result, Indian refiners are meticulously checking the ownership of each vessel to ensure no connection to Sovcomflot or other sanctioned groups. This heightened caution has led to delays for several oil ships carrying Russian cargo off the Indian coast.

While India has emerged as a major buyer of discounted Russian oil since the Ukraine war began, US sanctions have complicated the trade landscape. This latest development adds another layer of difficulty, potentially impacting the flow of Russian oil to India. It remains to be seen how India will navigate this situation and whether alternative arrangements for transporting Russian oil will be explored.