Russia is looking to receive payment for its oil exports to India in UAE dirhams, several sources who spoke with Reuters have revealed.
India has become Russia’s second biggest oil buyer after China as a result of severe western sanctions imposed on Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine.
According to an invoice reviewed by Reuters, Moscow is calculating the value of oil exports in US dollars while requesting payment in dirhams.
The invoice shows that payments are to be made to Russia’s Gazprombank via Mashreq Bank, its correspondent bank in Dubai.
Sources who spoke with Reuters called this stance by Abu Dhabi “untenable.”
Saudi Arabia has also shrugged off demands from the west and has instead doubled its imports of Russian fuel oil.
After surpassing Iran and Syria as the country with the most sanctions in the world, Russia has been looking to increase its use of non-western currencies for trade.
Last month, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov revealed that Moscow may start buying the currencies of friendly countries in a bid to move away from the US dollar and the euro.
Earlier this month, the two western currencies reached parity for the first time in 20 years, while the Russian ruble has been steadily gaining value despite the economic sanctions.
Last week, India’s central bank introduced a new mechanism for international trade settlements in rupees, which many see as a way to promote trade with nations under sanctions, such as Russia and Iran.
The three nations recently celebrated the first transportation of goods via container trains from Russia to India through the eastern branch of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).