Alexander Novak, Russia's deputy prime minister, said Russian oil sales to India jumped 22-fold in 2022 amid sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
Last year, as European countries sought to end their dependence on Russian energy supplies and imposed sanctions on Moscow, Russia has shifted its oil exports to India and China.
Novak said that Russia's energy exports were "redirected" to the "markets of friendly countries," adding that energy revenues accounted for 42% of Russia's federal budget in 2022.
He said Russia's energy industry was sustainable despite the challenges faced by Western sanctions.
But last year refiners in India became Moscow's key oil clients as Russia reportedly offered discounted rates. According to the Indian newspaper The Economic Times, India received 1.72 million bpd of Russian oil just last month.
What is India stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine?
Over the last year, observers have defined India's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a muted one. New Delhi has refused to condemn the war or support the Western sanctions.
At the G20 meet hosted by India, the US repeatedly called for Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. But India refused to condemn the Russian invasion and has called for talks to deescalate the conflict.
"We should not allow issues that we cannot resolve together to come in the way of those we can," said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the gathering.
Modi has previously said on India's ties with Russia that "the world also knows that it is an unbreakable friendship."
On the eve of the first anniversary of Russia's war, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) sought to pass a resolution demanding the end of the war.
India was among the 32 countries that abstained from voting.
ns/fb (AFP, Reuters)