Saudi Arabia Condemns Biden Administration For Trying To Manipulate OPEC+ For Political Gains

On Thursday, the Foreign Ministry for Saudi Arabia issued a statement condemning the Biden administration for trying to manipulate OPEC+ for political gains in the upcoming midterm elections.

OPEC+ had recently announced a severe cut to their production, a move quickly denounced by both sides of the aisle in the United States.

In response, the Biden administration vowed to review its relationship with Saudi Arabia, warning that the country would face “consequences” for the oil production cuts.

They reached out to Saudi officials to negotiate a compromise on the oil production decrease, which would almost assuredly result in a rise in the price of gas.

Officials also worry that the move may bolster Russia, a key member of OPEC+, in their ongoing invasion of Ukraine. By decreasing oil production, economists believe gas prices will increase, meaning Russia will be paid more handsomely for one of its most valuable exports.

U.S. politicians have repeatedly suggested that Saudi Arabia is working in concert with Russia to finance the war in Ukraine.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a response on Thursday.

“The Kingdom affirms that 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,” the statement read.

The statement also revealed that Saudi Arabia received requests from the Biden administration to delay the cuts to oil production by one month. The implication is that a delay could help Democrats in the midterm elections on Nov. 8.

Reporters asked Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken about the plot. Blinken said they asked OPEC+ to wait until their November meeting to officially decrease oil production so that the organization could analyze the market following summer surges.

Despite Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this year, the relationship with the country remains strained. Karen Young, a senior research fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, said the rift began in 2020.

“This has been going on since the beginning of the Biden administration,” Young said. “It was never repaired, and I think unfortunately the language the Biden administration is using — it just debases the relationship and makes it harder to rebuild.”