India was singled out for purchasing Russian oil, but the true perpetrator is the EU.
While the western media and diplomacy orchestrated a campaign against India for buying Russian oil and gas and breaking the global queue on sanctions, but it is EU oil and gas companies that are exploiting deliberately vague sanction rules and buying hydrocarbons from Moscow by paying in Roubles.
While the Western media and diplomacy coordinated a campaign against India for purchasing Russian oil and gas and violating global sanctions, it is EU oil and gas corporations who are taking advantage of purposefully unclear sanctions rules and purchasing hydrocarbons from Moscow in Roubles. On March 31, 2022, Russia established a requirement that gas-related payments be made in Roubles for enterprises located in 'unfriendly countries,' which presumably includes the EU. According to recent European reports, a considerable number of enterprises from numerous EU member countries are complying with these standards. Simply put, this is a Euro-Rouble arrangement, as it includes creating two bank accounts – one in Roubles and one in Euros – with the Russian Gazprombank, which is not among the EU-approved banks. Payments are made in euros, which are subsequently converted into roubles at the bank. Companies in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Slovenia, among others, are participating.
It is also worth noting that the European Commission continues to avoid clarifying whether such Rouble payments made by EU corporations breach EU sanctions regulations. At the moment, there is no certainty that opening Rouble accounts is a violation of EU sanctions. It is also possible that this evasion is deliberate in order for these EU members, which rely significantly on Russian gas, to continue receiving supplies from Russia. It is also odd that, rather than focusing on these enterprises, much of the Western media focuses on Indian oil purchases and unfounded allegations of India and Russia attempting to engage in Rupee-Rouble arrangements. It is also worth mentioning that the EU has been unable to enforce the sixth package of sanctions, announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in early May because the Member States have failed to agree on a restriction on Russian oil imports. If a result, even as nations in other regions import more Russian oil and gas, the EU remains the largest importer of Russian oil and gas, importing up to 3/4th of all Russian fossil fuel exports.
Hydrocarbon businesses in Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland, according to input from EU capitals, have refused to comply with the Russian decision. The Netherlands' oil and gas corporations remain on the fence, blaming a lack of clarity on penalties against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Companies from Hungary, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia appear to have continued to pay for and receive Russian gas, but the details with supplier Gazprom and whether they have opened Rouble-dominated accounts are not well known. As a result, there is some surprise that the Russian Rouble is strengthening versus the international currencies. Understanding the EU's game with Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly informed his buddy French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Paris earlier this month that long-term sanctions are unproductive since they harm smaller and weaker countries and cause global instability. Russians are certainly laughing all the way to the bank, while Ukraine is being bombarded with bombs and missiles.