Joe Biden, the president of the United States, is monitoring how OPEC+’s plan to reduce oil output is progressing.
The senior official warned that the choice would hurt the nation’s longstanding ties to Saudi Arabia. However, the White House claims the cuts will primarily hurt dependent nations and benefit Russia.
“OPEC is trying to shock and awe with a big production cut number that is going to get people’s attention. And they’re trying to support prices to keep them from falling further,” said Yasser Elguidi from Energy Aspects.
“I am in the process; when the House and Senate come back, there’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia,” added Biden in an interview.
The president made no mention of the possible repercussions or measures the nation could take in response to Saudi Arabia.
However, Biden made certain to involve Congress in the discussions and converse with them about the future of relations between the US and Saudi Arabia.
John Kirby, the National Security Council’s spokesman, said that Saudi Arabia could not deny playing a significant part in the output decrease.
“(It is) a short-sighted decision that benefitted Russia at a time when nobody — in any capacity — should be trying to benefit Vladimir Putin,” added Kirby.
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Saudi Arabia denies it is targeting the US
Saudi Arabia has been partially blamed by the US for OPEC’s decision to reduce oil output, but Riyadh has refuted claims that this was done to intentionally inflame tensions with the US.
Adel al-Jubier, the Saudi foreign minister, claimed in an interview that Riyadh only carried out the plan after it was discussed by the OPEC oil exporting nations.
“The idea that Saudi Arabia would do this to harm the US or to be in any way politically involved is absolutely not correct at all,” he said.
Democrats affected by the decision
The drop in gas and oil prices has benefited Biden and his Democratic colleagues, giving them more influence in the impending midterm elections in November.
However, as a result of OPEC’s decision, gas prices are predicted to soar, which will impact the Democrats’ fight against inflation. Inflation is one of the top concerns for US voters.
In order to ensure regional security and energy, Saudi Arabia and the US forged relationships in the 1940s. However, current Saudi Arabian policies, notably those pertaining to human rights, have the US State Department scratching its head.
In his presidential campaign, Biden pledged to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for all of its human rights violations, using the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi as an example.
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However, Biden’s meeting with Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman this summer sparked condemnation from people and human rights activists.
But Biden stood by his choice, stating that the conference was necessary for the nation to address its problem with the decline in gas and oil supplies.
Kirby declined to comment on how the US government will approach Saudi Arabia, but he said Biden would enlist legislators’ support after the November elections.
“He knows that many members have expressed concerns on both sides of the aisle,” said Kirby.
Photo Credit: Susan Walsh