US assesses relationship with Saudi Arabia after OPEC+ slashes oil production
The United States is reflecting on its relationship with Saudi Arabia after Riyadh and other OPEC+ nations took steps to drastically cut oil production this week.
"As for the relationship (with Riyadh) going forward, we're reviewing a number of response options. We're consulting closely with Congress," Blinken said Thursday at a news conference in Lima, during a State Department visit to Peru.
Blinken did not reveal what the White House might consider a proportionate response at the time.
But President Biden's administration has been sizing up their options after the group of oil-producing nations which includes Russia agreed on Wednesday to slash production.
Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov hailed the "balanced, thoughtful and planned work of the countries, which take a responsible position within OPEC, is opposed to the actions of the US".
Decreased oil output is highly likely to inflate the price of petrol at the pump right before the 8 November midterm elections, when Democrats are hoping to defend their control of Congress.
In retaliation, Democrats in the House of Representatives called on the Biden administration to immediately cut military sales to Saudi Arabia.
Many US lawmakers have raised concerns for a number of years over Washington’s close ties to the Saudi kingdom, despite accusations of human rights abuses against its own citizens and leading a bloody war in Yemen.
During his time in the Obama administration, however, Anthony Blinken was among those to assist with increasing arms sales to Saudi Arabia while the war in Yemen was raging.
And during the press conference in Lima, Blinken restated the US commitment to "working closely" with Saudi Arabia in an "attempt to extend the armistice" in Yemen despite the OPEC+ decision.