Blinken says US criticized Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ because of Russia

28 October 2022

The United States has harshly criticized the recent decision by the OPEC+ association and Saudi Arabia to cut oil production, in part because it saw it as an economic boon for Russia. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted this at a press conference Thursday in Ottawa with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

In his version, the decisions made by OPEC+ are "potentially unfairly lining Russia's pockets." Washington has criticized these OPEC+ moves not only because they reduce the flow of oil to the world market, but also because they could mean economic gain for Russia and support its special military operation in Ukraine, the US diplomatic chief said. "Anything that facilitates this is deeply wrong and deeply objectionable," Blinken asserted.

He assured that the US is being extremely cautious in its announced review of relations with Saudi Arabia, given decades of strategic partnership. "We will examine it, as we do, methodically and prudently. With the goal of ensuring that this [relationship] works to advance our interests. That's the goal," the secretary of state noted.

"And we have multiple interests when it comes to the relationship with Saudi Arabia. As we look at it, we want to ensure that, as I said, those interests are safeguarded and maintained," Blinken added.

OPEC+ countries agreed in a face-to-face meeting in Vienna on October 5 to cut oil production by 2 million bpd starting in November and extended the deal through the end of 2023. From the US government's perspective, the OPEC+ decision demonstrates that Saudi Arabia is aligning its energy policy with Russia. US President Joe Biden spoke in favor of reviewing relations between Washington and Riyadh. The kingdom's authorities categorically disagreed with this. Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud stressed that the OPEC+ decision had no political motives and was "purely economic".



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on materials from TASS