This week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia to talk about the world’s oil shortage. A question that has been raised is if Biden can break the alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia?
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In response to U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East, the Kremlin expressed its hopes that American diplomacy would not strive to persuade Saudi Arabia against Russia, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.
Peskov was cited by the Russian news agency TASS as saying during a conference on Wednesday that “we certainly hope that the building and the development of relations between Riyadh and other world capitals will in no way be directed against us.”
Peskov responded when questioned about President Biden’s visit to the Kingdom: “we highly appreciate the work we are doing with our partners, including leading partners such as Saudi Arabia.”
The Middle East trip of President Biden, that will involve a stop in Saudi Arabia—the biggest exporter of crude oil in the world and a significant ally of Russia in the OPEC+ oil production agreement—began on Wednesday.
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Saudi Arabia and Russia have repeatedly emphasized the significance of their OPEC+ alliance despite Russia’s incursion of Ukraine.
For his part, President Biden will make his first trip to Saudi Arabia after changing his mind about Riyadh after American gas prices reached a historic high of $5 per gallon last month.
According to Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security advisor, OPEC has the ability to increase crude oil production.
Sullivan stated during a press conference on Monday that “we do believe there is a capacity for further steps that could be taken.”
In discussions with leaders of the Gulf states in Saudi Arabia, President Biden and his team would argue for increased OPEC oil output, Sullivan said at the briefing.
“We will convey our general view…that we believe that there needs to be adequate supply in the global market to protect the global economy and to protect the American consumer at the pump,” Sullivan said.
Analysts claim that OPEC’s true spare capacity may be lower than official data imply and that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), two countries thought to have the majority of the world’s spare capacity, are unable to sustainably pump more crude oil than they are now doing.