Reuters: Indian refiners pay traders in dirhams for Russian oil

    WORLD  04 February 2023 - 16:28

    Indian refiners have begun paying for most of their Russian oil purchased via Dubai-based traders in United Arab Emirates dirhams instead of US dollars.

    While Western sanctions against Moscow are not recognised by India, and purchases of Russian oil may in any case not violate them, banks and financial institutions are cautious about clearing payments so as not to unwittingly fall foul of the many measures imposed against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, according to Reuters.

    Indian refiners and traders are concerned they may not be able to continue to settle trades in dollars, especially if the price of Russian crude rises above a cap imposed by the Group of Seven nations and Australia in December.

    That has led traders to seek alternative methods of payment, which could also aid Russia's efforts to de-dollarise its economy in response to the Western sanctions.

    Previous attempts by Indian refiners to pay traders for Russian crude in dirhams through Dubai banks failed, forcing them to switch back to the US currency.

    But India's top bank, the State Bank of India (SBI), is now clearing these dirham payments, the sources told Reuters, providing details of transactions that have not previously been reported.

    The SBI, which has overseas branches including in the United States, did not respond to requests for comment.

    Caliber.Az

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