The possibility of fuel price rise in India is a major concern
As fighting continues to rage between Ukraine and Russia, there are fears of fuel cost increases worldwide. This is particularly true in India, which imports 85 % of its crude oil requirements.
Recently, crude oil prices have been increasing rapidly, fueled by fears that the West may choose to sanction Russian oil production.
This has sparked domestic fears that heightening prices will also be felt in India. In the run-up to the elections, stable prices have been maintained by Indian oil companies, and this may no longer be the case. As crude oil prices climb as high as $140 per barrel, this could cause considerable issues.
The situation has already drawn criticism by opposition parties, with Rahul Gandhi implying that the current fuel stability had been a temporary election ploy by the Government and would soon be repealed.
This was refuted by the Government, with Minister Hardeep Singh Puri asserting that the current price rise was in fact due to the effects of the global market. He also pointed that the conditions of war also had to be taken into account.
As the crisis in Ukraine escalates, more options to pressure Russia are being discussed by the West. For instance, the US has announced their intent to completely cut off oil imports. There have also been discussions regarding a similar course of action in Europe. However, Europe is far more dependent on Russia for its energy needs. This is especially true in Germany, where the closure of nuclear plants has left it reliant on natural gas. This was reiterated by the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who stated that it would not be a practical step.
However, public sentiment in Germany and Europe is now overwhelmingly against Russian energy. If the situation escalates further, European sanctions on Russia may cause an unprecedented rise in global prices.