The divide between the United States (US) and Saudi Arabia in recent years has widened with the start of Russia’s special military operations in Ukraine. The report was revealed by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) citing senior officials from both countries.
“After the start of Russia’s operations in Ukraine, the administration of US President Joe Biden wants Saudi Arabia to produce more oil to damage the financial and military sectors of the Russian economy,” the report said on Tuesday (19/4/2022).
According to the WSJ, “Riyadh’s commercial and political interests have changed significantly after the Saudis became China’s biggest oil supplier and stopped selling as much oil as they had for decades.”
“Right now, the Biden administration is not asking the Saudis to pump more oil but to refrain from any action that would harm Western efforts in Ukraine,” a senior US official said.
Saudi officials say they believe the main risk to the United States lies in Riyadh’s alignment with China and Russia, according to the report.
“The strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has never been in the predicament it is now,” the report quoted former senior US intelligence official Norman Roule as saying.
The stance of the Biden government in Yemen and the killing of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi are the most difficult issues in bilateral relations between the two countries, according to the report. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is upset by US accusations that he played a role in Khashoggi’s killing.
“Mohammed bin Salman is also outraged by the Biden administration’s decision to remove the Houthis from the list of terrorist organizations and reduce support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen,” the report said.
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the crises in Ukraine and Yemen, as well as the OPEC+ deal on oil production cuts.