Saudi minister warns Western anti-Russia sanctions could backfire
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman warned on Saturday that sanctions and underinvestment in the energy sector could lead to a supply shortage.
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, has warned against the consequences of the West's oil sanctions on Russia, claiming that the restrictive measures could lead to a future shortage of energy supplies.
Speaking at an industry conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the minister warned that sanctions against Russia could backfire if demand rises. “All these sanctions, embargoes, they all will convolute into one thing and one thing only: lack of energy supplies of all kinds when they’re most needed,” he said. “That is my worry.”
The West, which was previously Russia's main energy market, has responded to the nearly year-long war in Ukraine by sanctioning Moscow's energy revenues.
Saudi Arabia and Russia are partners in OPEC+, an alliance of members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others. However, Western sanctions have forced Moscow to enter Riyadh's regular markets in Asia with low-cost crude, forcing the kingdom to sell more in Europe.
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Regarding what lessons had been learned from energy market dynamics in 2022, Abdulaziz said the most important one was for the rest of the world to "trust OPEC+".
“We are a responsible group of countries, we do take policy issues relevant to energy and oil markets in a total silo and we don’t engage ourselves in political issues,” he said.
OPEC+ agreed last year to reduce its production target by 2 million barrels per day, or about 2% of global demand, from November to the end of 2023.
The OPEC+ market-monitoring committee met earlier this week and recommended that crude production remain stable.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke by phone with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman about OPEC+ cooperation to keep oil prices stable.