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Russia seeks payment for oil sales from India in dirhams

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Three sources have reported that Russia is seeking payments in UAE dirhams for oil exports to some Indian customers, as Moscow moves away from the dollar to insulate itself from the effects of Western sanctions.

Data showed that the consideration for supplying oil to one refinery was calculated in dollars, and that payment was required in Emirati dirhams.

Russia’s state oil giant Rosneft pumps crude oil through trading firms including Everest Energy and Coral Energy to India, which is now the second-largest buyer of oil after China.

Western sanctions prompted many oil importers to move away from Moscow, which prompted the prices of Russian crude in spot transactions to record declines compared to other grades.

This gave Indian refiners, which rarely bought Russian oil due to high shipping costs, an opportunity to grab exports at deep discounts on Brent and Middle East crudes.

Moscow replaced Saudi Arabia as India’s second largest oil supplier after Iraq for the second month in a row in June.

The sources said that at least two Indian companies have already made some payments in dirhams, adding that more of these payments will be made in the coming days.

The invoice showed that the payments would be made to Gazprom Bank via Mashreqbank, the correspondent bank in Dubai.

The sources said that the trading companies that Rosneft deals with began requesting the dollar-equivalent payment in the UAE dirham this month.

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