Joe Biden vows ‘consequences’ for Saudis after OPEC+ cut oil production
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden stated that there would be ‘consequences’ for Saudi Arabia as the Riyadh led OPEC+ alliance seeks to reduce oil production. Democratic lawmakers also call for a halt in cooperation with the Saudis.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden stated that there would be “consequences for Saudi Arabia” as the Riyadh led OPEC+ alliance seeks to reduce oil production. Democratic lawmakers also called for a halt in cooperation with the Saudis.
Biden indicated that he would act soon, and aides said that the administration was reevaluating its relationship to the kingdom in light the oil production cut. Officials from the White House claim that this will help Russia, another OPEC+ member. This comes as the United States continues its eight-month-old war in Ukraine.
Legislation was introduced by Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic Senator from Connecticut, and Ro Khanna, a Representative from California that would immediately suspend all U.S. arms exports to Saudi Arabia for ONE YEAR. This would also stop sales of spare parts and repair parts, logistical support services, and logistical support.
It remains to be seen just how far Biden will go to show his displeasure at the Saudis, an important but complex ally in the Middle East. Biden, who had promised to rebalance the U.S.-Saudi Arabian relationship due to Saudi Arabia’s human right record, was elected to office in January. He later visited the kingdom earlier in the year.
In a CNN interview, Biden stated that he would consult with Congress about the best way forward. However, he did not endorse the call of Democratic lawmakers to stop weapons sales.
Biden stated that there will be consequences for Russia’s actions. “I don’t want to get into what my mind would consider and what I think. But they will be — there’ll be consequences.
John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, stated that Biden believes it is time to “take another look at this relationship” and ensure it serves our national security interests.
Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, stated Tuesday that there is no timetable for the review and that the president has not appointed a point person or adviser.
Officials also stress the important role Saudi Arabia plays in the resolution of wider national security issues in the Middle East.
Blumenthal and Khanna presented their legislation after Sen. Robert Menendez (a New Jersey Democrat) said that it was unacceptable for OPEC+ to reduce oil production and aid Moscow in its war against Ukraine. Menendez said he would use his position of chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in order to stop any future arms sales to Saudis.
Kirby stated that Menendez didn’t warn the White House before he announced his intent to block future Saudi arms exports.
OPEC+, which is Russia and Saudi Arabia combined, announced last week that it would reduce production by 2,000,000 barrels per day. This will help support oil prices, which are allowing Russian President Vladimir Putin continue to pay for his eight-month invasion in Ukraine. This production cut will also harm the U.S.-led efforts make the war financially unsustainable. It threatens an already unstable global economy and could leave Biden and Democrats facing rising gasoline prices right before the U.S. midterm election.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud stated to Al Arabiya that the Saudi government justified the production cuts because it was “purely economic.”
European leaders and Biden have called for more oil production to lower gasoline prices and punish Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine. Putin is accused of using energy to attack countries opposed to Russia’s invasion.
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