US 'reviewing' consequences for Saudi Arabia over OPEC decision: Blinken

'We are not only deeply disappointed in that, we think it's short-sighted,' says top diplomat.

US 'reviewing' consequences for Saudi Arabia over OPEC decision: Blinken

The US is "reviewing" consequences for Saudi Arabia after a decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

"We are not only deeply disappointed in that, we think it's short-sighted. And as the President's made very clear, that decision has to have consequences and that's something that we're reviewing as we speak," Blinken said at a news conference with his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard.

Blinken noted the Saudis had conveyed to the US privately and publicly their intention to reduce oil production, which he said they knew would increase Russian revenues.

"We made clear that that would be the wrong direction. On that basis alone, the impact that would have potentially on sanctions but also because we're in a global economic recovery. The recovery is fragile," said the diplomat.

"We're dealing with headwinds from COVID and also dealing with headwinds from the Russia question itself. And, so now, is not the time to take energy off the market for many, many months now," he added.

Blinken also said the Saudis did not present a market basis for the cuts and the US suggested "that if they did have concerns about prices going down significantly, if their objective was to keep prices at a certain level, they should they should wait and see how markets reacted over the coming weeks there and wait at least till their next monthly meeting."

Earlier, the White House said the decision by Saudi-chaired OPEC+ to dramatically cut global oil production is tantamount to "moral and military support" for Russia's ongoing war against Ukraine.

Washington continues to fume at Saudi Arabia for its support for the cartel's 2 million barrel per day reduction, maintaining Riyadh worked behind the scenes to pressure the bloc's members to vote in favor of the decision knowing full well that it would benefit Russia.

OPEC+'s action has spiked oil prices globally, a major revenue stream for the Kremlin as the West and its allies attempt to crimp down on Russia’s ability to conduct the now eight-month war against Ukraine that it began in February.

Hüseyin Demir

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