Blinken says OPEC+ oil production cut not action of ally
The US Secretary of State says the oil production cut decision that Riyadh and OPEC+ took was one that was "deeply unfortunate and also deeply misguided."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken considered on Thursday that Saudi Arabia did not behave like a US ally when it sided with the need to cut the OPEC+ oil production but indicated the two countries still have many common interests.
"In this instance, it's not. But we have a multiplicity of interests with Saudi Arabia," Blinken told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos when asked whether Riyadh's decision to support the oil cuts amounts to "the actions of an ally."
According to the top US diplomat, Washington is trying to restore economic growth, which makes it "the wrong time to engage in production cuts."
Blinken said, "The step that Saudi Arabia and the OPEC+ organization took was one that was deeply unfortunate and also deeply misguided. To the extent that this causes oil prices to go up and Russia's exporting oil, it's helping to line Putin's pockets."
The US, Saudi Arabia, and OPEC+
Earlier in October, the 13-nation OPEC+ and its 10 allies infuriated the White House by resolving to cut output by two million barrels per day beginning in November, fueling fears that oil prices may spike.
"I'm not going to get into what I'd consider and what I have in mind. But there will be -- there will be consequences," US President Joe Biden told CNN.
Biden would not specify which choices were being evaluated, although the White House had previously stated that the US President was reassessing connections between allies.
"I think the president's been very clear that this is a relationship that we need to continue to re-evaluate, that we need to be willing to revisit," US National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby told CNN, adding that "certainly in light of the OPEC decision, I think that's where he is."
On the other hand, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir denied all allegations that OPEC+'s decision was directed at the US and stated that its aim was to stabilize the global market amid a slowing economy.
It is noteworthy that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on October 16 that Biden had "no plans" to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on the sidelines of the G20 summit coming up next month in Indonesia.
In the same context, the head organizer of the Saudi investment conference, Davos in the Desert, pointed out on October 17, that "no invitations will be sent to US government officials to attend the conference, which will be held at the end of October," adding that it is to prevent the gathering from becoming a "political platform".
Recently, Biden announced the sale of an additional 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, completing the release of 180 million barrels authorized by him in March.
The release created additional supply to refineries, bringing down fuel prices that at one point hit a record high of over $5 per gallon. On Wednesday, a gallon of gasoline at the pump in the United States averaged $3.85.