By:Kimberly Rodrigues

On Wednesday (29), Russian energy corporation Rosneft declared a new agreement to increase oil sales to India, as the country seeks alternative buyers amidst tensions with the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Following Russia’s military deployment to Ukraine in February of last year, the nation’s share of the European market plummeted, resulting in sanctions on the country’s oil sector by Kyiv’s allies.

Rosneft CEO, Igor Sechin, personally negotiated the deal with the Indian Oil Corporation during his visit to India.

“Rosneft Oil Company and Indian Oil Company signed a term agreement to substantially increase oil supplies as well (as) diversify the grades to India,” Rosneft said in a statement.

However, no specific information regarding the volumes or value of the agreement was disclosed by Rosneft.

This announcement follows Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak’s statement on Tuesday (28) that Moscow’s oil sales to India grew over twenty times in the previous year.

Rosneft further added that during the meeting between the two oil companies, they discussed the potential of conducting transactions in national currencies, which aligns with Russia’s push towards de-dollarisation of its economy.

In response to Western sanctions, Russia – a major producer and an essential OPEC ally – has reduced its crude production by 500,000 barrels per day this month. Additionally, Rosneft reported a substantial decline in its annual profit earlier this month, a direct impact of the Western sanctions on Russia.

(With inputs from AFP)