The progress of OPEC+’s deal to reduce oil output is being monitored by US President Joe Biden.
According to the senior official, the move may have negative effects on the nation’s long-standing ties with Saudi Arabia. However, the White House claims the cuts will primarily benefit Russia and hurt dependent nations.
“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 did not speak of the possible outcomes or measures of punishment the nation may take against Saudi Arabia. However, Biden made sure to involve Congress in the consultations and speak with them about the future of relations between the US and Saudi Arabia.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said that Saudi Arabia could not dispute the magnitude of its involvement in the production cut.
“(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.
Saudi Arabia denies allegations
Saudi Arabia has been blamed in part by the US for OPEC’s decision to reduce oil output. Still, Riyadh has dismissed claims that this was not made to deliberately stir up relations between the US and Saudi Arabia.
According to Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubier, Riyadh only acts in accordance with OPEC-member nations that export oil.
“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 are affected
In order to gain an advantage in the coming November midterm elections, Biden and his Democratic allies have benefitted from the dip in gas and oil prices.
The OPEC decision, however, is anticipated to cause petrol prices to jump, which will impact the Democrat’s crusade against inflation. Inflation is one of US voters’ top concerns.
In order to safeguard regional security and oil, Saudi Arabia and the US built relationships in the 1940s that have since been strengthened. However, Saudi Arabia’s recent policies, notably those involving human rights, have raised questions with the US State Department.
With the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi as an example, Biden pledged to the people during his presidential campaign that he would make certain that Saudi Arabia was held legally responsible for all human rights violations.
But last summer, Biden had a meeting with Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman, which prompted condemnation from certain people, including human rights activists.
Nevertheless, Biden stood by his plan and justified it by saying that the gathering was necessary for the nation to address its problem with the depletion of gas and oil supplies.
When it comes to the US government’s plans for Saudi Arabia, Kirby remains mum, although he did say that Biden is standing in line with lawmakers to support the endeavor after the midterm elections.
“He knows that many members have expressed concerns on both sides of the aisle,” said Kirby.
Photo Credit: Susan Walsh