Are sanctions on Russia working? Not exactly as planned, perhaps, though they are working out very nicely for India which, according to recent reports, is exploiting the situation to its benefit.
The price of Russian crude dropped by around $20 per barrel following the imposition of sanctions but has since rebounded somewhat. Meanwhile, India has increased its imports of Russian oil from zero at the start of the year to around 300,000 barrels a day in March and 800,000 a day last month.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this is an indication that India is buying up cheap sanctioned Russian oil, refining it, and then selling it to the US and EU for massive profits. It points to various shipments made and traces the route from India through the Suez Canal and then across the Atlantic to ports in New York and New Jersey.
Independent analysts assess that the United States has reluctantly acquiesced to the arrangement due to threats from India that it could otherwise break off ties with the U.S. and turn to China instead.
Urals oil from Russia is currently trading at around $95 per barrel, but India is putting pressure on Russia to sell at $70 a barrel even as it negotiates to increase its imports. Meanwhile, the global benchmark is close to $120 per barrel and consumers are now feeling the pinch for what has become little more than virtue-signaling.