New Delhi: Amid reports that New Delhi is planning to buy Russian oil at a discounted rate, India on Thursday clarified that it is "always exploring possibilities" in global energy markets as its oil requirements are met by imports.

Asked if India plans to import more oil from Russia, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that almost all of India's energy requirements are imported, and the country is always exploring new options.

The MEA spokesperson highlighted that a "number of countries are importing energy from Europe, especially in Europe."

"India does import most of its oil requirements. So, we are always exploring all possibilities in global energy markets because of the situation of importing our oil requirements. I don't think Russia has been a major supplier," Bagchi said at a media briefing when asked if India is buying crude oil from Russia.

With the US and its Western allies moving to reduce Russian oil imports, media reports said that India was looking to buy crude oil from Russia at cheaper rates. According to reports, the Indian government is seeking to offset the impact of surging oil prices by securing supplies from Russia at a discount.

The United States on Tuesday said India would not be violating US sanctions by purchasing discounted Russian oil but added that such a move would put the world's largest democracy on the "wrong side of history".

Asked about the reports of India considering a Russian offer to buy crude oil and other commodities at discount prices a week after the US banned all Russian energy imports, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Joe Biden administration's message would be for countries to abide by US sanctions.

"I don't believe this would be violating that, but also think about where you want to stand," Psaki said. "When the history books are written at this moment in time, support for Russia - the Russian leadership - is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact".

According to some media reports, Indian Oil Corporation purchased 3 million barrels of Russian crude oil, the first such transaction since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

India, the world's third-largest oil consumer and importer and one of the few countries not to condemn Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, currently imports 80 per cent of its oil, but only about 2 per cent to 3 per cent of those purchases come from Russia.