Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry threw U.S. President Joe Biden under the bus this week by revealing that Biden had “suggested” the Kingdom to postpone a decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production. Biden wanted OPEC to hold off until closer to the midterm elections, when a price spike would not drastically effect the fortunes of Biden and the Democrats at the ballot box. Saudi Arabia is the de facto leader of OPEC and OPEC+, which includes Russia.
In spite of the Biden suggestion that cuts be delayed, OPEC announced the cuts anyway last week at its meeting in Vienna, Austria. It has cut exports by 2 million barrels a day.
This week, Biden hit back at Saudi Arabia with a veiled threat, telling Jake Tapper on CNN that there would be “consequences” for what the Saudis have done in shutting off the valves.
“There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done, with Russia,” Biden said. “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.” This is a president of the United States threatening another world leader in order to gain electoral advantage and it’s the kind of foreign-interference-in-election activity that the Democrat-led House of Representatives said President Donald Trump engaged in, which led to his first impeachment.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the decision by OPEC+ was economic and was taken unanimously by its member states.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The White House doubled down on linking Saudi Arabia with Russia:
“We believe by the decision that OPEC+ made last week, (Saudi Arabia is) certainly aligning themselves with Russia,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a Tuesday press availability. “And right now, this is not the time to be aligning with Russia, especially with this brutal, unprecedented war that they started in Ukraine.”
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the statements issued about the Kingdom following the OPEC+ decision
An official at the Foreign Ministry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stated that the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has viewed the statements issued about the Kingdom following the OPEC+ decision announced on October 5, 2022, which have described the decision as the Kingdom taking sides in international conflicts and that it was politically motived against the United States of America.
The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context. This decision was taken unanimously by all member states of the OPEC+ group.
The Kingdom affirms that the outcomes of the OPEC+ meetings are adopted through consensus among member states, and that they are not based on the unilateral decision by a single country. These outcomes are based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining balance of supply and demand in the oil markets, as well as aim to limit volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers, as has been always the case within OPEC +.
The OPEC+ group makes its decisions independently in accordance with established independent practices followed by the international organizations.
The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would also like to clarify that based on its belief in the importance of dialogue and exchange of views with its allies and partners outside the OPEC + group regarding the situation in the oil markets, the Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US Administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences.
The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia affirms that any attempts to distort the facts about the Kingdom’s position regarding the crisis in Ukraine are unfortunate, and will not change the Kingdom’s principled position, including its vote to support UN resolutions regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, based on the Kingdom’s position on the importance for all countries to adhere to the United Nations Charter, principles of international law, and the Kingdom’s rejection of any infringement on the sovereignty of countries over their territories.
The Kingdom stresses that while it strives to preserve the strength of its relations with all friendly countries, it affirms its rejection of any dictates, actions, or efforts to distort its noble objectives to protect the global economy from oil market volatility.
Resolving economic challenges requires the establishment of a non-politicized constructive dialogue, and to wisely and rationally consider what serves the interests of all countries.
The Kingdom affirms that it view its relationship with the United States of America as a strategic one that serves the common interests of both countries. The Kingdom also stresses the importance of building on the solid pillars upon which the Saudi-US relationship had stood over the past eight decades. These pillars include mutual respect, enhancing common interests, actively contributing to preserve regional and international peace and security, countering terrorism and extremism, and achieving prosperity for the peoples of the region.