Democratic Senator: 'There Should Be Consequences' for Saudi Arabia After OPEC+ Announced Oil Production Cuts

Democratic Senator Says: 'There Should Be Consequences' for Saudi Arabia After OPEC+ Announced Oil Production Cuts

A Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday that "there must be consequences" after Saudi Arabia and a group of major oil producers moved to cut oil production last week in a move the White House said was "short-sighted" and harmful to low- and middle-income countries.

"There have to be consequences for that. Whether it's lifting the cartel's immunity or rethinking the presence of our forces there, or our security relationship, I think it's time to acknowledge that the Saudis are not looking forward to us," said Senator Chris Murphy. On Connecticut, CNN correspondent Jake Tapper in "State of the Union" referred to the US military presence in the Middle East.

"We have looked for years in the other direction as Saudi Arabia has been chopping up journalists, engaging in widespread political repression, for one reason: We wanted to know that when the chips are down when there is a global crisis, the Saudis are going to do it. We chose Russia instead," Senator said. "Well, they didn't. They chose Russia."

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman is seen during a press conference after the 45th session of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee and the 33rd ministerial meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC members in Vienna, Austria, on October 5, 2022. - OPEC+ oil cartel meets for the first time face to face Since the introduction of Covid restrictions in 2020.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, said last week that they would cut oil production by two million barrels per day, the most significant reduction since the beginning of the epidemic, in a move. That threatens to increase gasoline prices a few weeks before the US midterm elections. The group announced the production cut after its first meeting in person since March 2020. The reduction is equivalent to about 2% of global oil demand.

In a statement, the Biden administration criticized the decision as "short-sighted" and said it hurt some countries already suffering from high energy prices more than others.

Production cuts will begin in November. OPEC+ will meet again in December and includes OPEC countries and allies such as Russia.

On Sunday, Murphy also defended Biden's meeting earlier this year with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and their controversial fist, saying, "I have no problem with American presidents meeting with our friends or foes."

The Senator said the US-Saudi relationship "was broken during the era of Democratic and Republican presidents" and acknowledged that "we didn't get what we needed to get out of that meeting."

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