Joe Biden discusses ending Nord Stream 2 in February
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According to energy expert Kevin Brook, Biden’s administration is “being very careful to reassure European allies that we are going to continue supplying energy. They are also being very careful not to make it seem like American energy is going to other countries.”
Now, the US President has issued an ultimatum to Saudi Arabia over its oil production after the Opec+ oil group agreed to a significant cut in production.
The Opec unions all agreed to cutting an output of 2 million barrel per day, after it was planned to only be 1 million to 1.5 million barrels.
The decision meant that supplies tightened in the market which shot up the price of Brent crude by two percent at $93.80 (£84.61), its highest since September 15.
The costs of natural gas are trading at approximately 94 percent higher than at the start of the year.
In a new effort to change the minds of the Middle Eastern nations in an attempt to protect oil prices and reduce the impact of inflation, Biden has reminded Saudi Arabia about America’s weapons contribution.
Democrats in Congress have raised the idea of issuing a one-year ban on all arms sales to Saudi Arabia if the kingdom refuses to row back on its oil production decision over the next few weeks.
The ultimatum followed Biden’s reiteration that he would act if Riyah’s oil decision to cut output by 2 million barrels a day came into action.
Ro Khanna, a Democratic congressman from California warned the kingdom, of which he is a long-term critic, that the move symbolises great “ingratitude” for the service the US provides.
Khanna said: “We provide so much not just in weapons, but in defence, cooperation and joint defence initiatives to the Saudis. They get almost 73 percent of their arms from the United States.
“If it weren’t for our technicians, their airplanes literally wouldn’t fly…we literally ar responsible for their entire air force.
“What galls so many of us in Congress is the ingratitude.”
The President warned that the oil cut would help “fuel Vladimir Putin’s war machine” as nations are forced to find energy elsewhere and it will also hurt American consumers as pump prices soar.
Jake Sullivan, The White House national security adviser told reporters that while no move is imminent, Biden is also considering re-evaluating America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia all together and that halting arms sales would be a part of this widespread evaluation.
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Such a decision would not only impact America’s relations with Saudi Arabia but also those between Putin and the Saudi heir, consultations over Iran and Russia’s financial strength which will benefit its attack on Ukraine.
Democratic senator from Connecticut Richard Blumenthal who is working alongside Khanna on the arms cuts, highlighted the wider security issue.
He said: “We are selling highly sensitive technology, advanced technology, to a country that has aligned itself with an adversary – Russia – that is committing terrorist war crimes in Ukraine.
“So, there is a moral imperative, but also a national security imperative”.
He concluded: “I am hopeful that the President will act immediately…and exercise his power on those sales.
“We hope that this legislation will provide an impetus for the Saudis to reconsider this and reverse.”
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