July 13, 2022

Biden to Visit a Saudi Arabia That Is Closer to Russia Than Ever

Featuring Elina Ribakova

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Journalists Benoit Faucon, Summer Said, Georgi Kantchev

As President Biden prepares to visit Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom is closer than ever to Russia and has no plans to disengage from Moscow or help Washington by pumping more crude, Saudi officials said.

The burgeoning partnership between Russia and the Saudis, rooted in their vast petroleum production capacity, has upended an oil-for-security arrangement between Washington and Riyadh that has lasted nearly half a century and been a central fixture of the post-World War II international order.

In the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and after, the Saudis ignored Western calls to export more oil to help bring down international prices, which soared to almost $140 a barrel in March and have stayed mostly above $100 a barrel since late February.

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By working with the Saudis, the Kremlin has aimed to weaken U.S. global leadership and to find new allies, following sanctions imposed after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, analysts said.

“OPEC+ was a geopolitical project as much as it was an economic project,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, a financial-industry association.

Read the full story and more from The Wall Street Journal.

Authors

  • Elina Ribakova

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Energy, Economics, and Security Program

    Elina Ribakova Ribakova directs the IIF’s economic research on emerging markets, with special interests in Russian economics and financial stability. Ms. Ribakova was previou...