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Biden Tried to Blackmail Saudis to Delay OPEC Cuts Till after Midterms

'We believe by the decision that OPEC+ made last week, they're certainly aligning themselves with Russia... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) The Biden administration demanded that Saudi Arabia pause cuts to oil production until after the November elections, arguing that reducing output before then would help Russia win the war in Ukraine.

Senior Biden administration officials spread the same message to other OPEC+ members, too, the Daily Mail reported. Regardless, last week OPEC+ decided to decrease oil production by 2 million barrels per day—the largest cut since 2020.

The oil-exporting nations either disregarded or disagreed with Biden’s desire to keep oil prices low in order to hurt Russian President Vladimir Putin and to help Democrat election prospects.

With oil production cuts, Russia’s revenues will grow as American gas prices rise.

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The White House denied reports that Biden administration officials blackmailed OPEC+ nations into opposing production cuts.

“It’s categorically false to connect this to U.S. elections,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. “It’s about the impact of this shortsighted decision to the global economy.”

Yet, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre echoed the same talking points after OPEC+ announced the reduction.

“We believe by the decision that OPEC+ made last week, they’re certainly aligning themselves with Russia and right now this is not a time to be aligning with Russia, especially this brutal, unprecedented war that they have started in Ukraine and we’ve been very clear about that,’ she said.

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Saudi officials viewed the pressure campaign as a “political gambit by the Biden administration to avoid bad news.”

President Joe Biden met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in July to request that he increase oil production to boost the ailing American economy and to drive down gas prices. After the meeting, OPEC+ boosted production and then reversed course.

Saudi officials do not view the decision as being pro-Russian but as being good for global oil markets.

“The Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US Administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences,” Saudi Arabia said in a statement.

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