Saudi’s Dumping the U.S. Dollar
Last Updated: 9th March, 2022 17:09 IST
Saudi Arabia, UAE Decline ‘calls With Biden’ As Washington Scrambles To Replace Russia Oil
Saudi de facto ruler is widely known as MBS had said in remarks with Saudi state news agency SPA that Riyadh “aims to reduce investments in the United States”.
Written ByZaini Majeed
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan have rejected US President Joe Biden’s request for talks over the phone, and subsequent meetings in the days to come, WSJ reported. Washington was planning a visit to the oil-rich nations after hitting sanctions to cut off the West’s reliance on the Russian oil, in a retaliatory measure against Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.
The Saudi and Emirati officials declined to hold a dialogue with the Biden administration which has been increasingly vocal in its criticism of the Mideast, and the latter has questioned America’s policies in Gulf, Middle East.
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‘There was some expectation..’: US official
“There was some expectation of a phone call, but it didn’t happen. It was part of turning on the spigot [of Saudi oil],” a US official told the newspaper. US delegation from US National Security Council and State Department also travelled to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in recent weeks to plead the case, the report suggests. Biden had not preferred to speak with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and has made the first official call to the leader’s father, King Salman, on 9 February, after assuming the leadership.READ | Russia-Ukraine War News Highlights: Ukraine refugees reach 1 million in 7 days
Biden is pictured during his vice presidency meeting with then-Prince Salman bin Abdel-Aziz, who is now king, in 2011 in Riyadh. Credit: APREAD | Russia-Ukraine war: Ukrainian MP says ‘West not doing enough’ amid Moscow’s aggression
Biden had told Saudi King Salman that he would “hold them accountable for human rights abuses” and the US would be announcing significant changes in the bilateral relationship. “I spoke yesterday with the king … Made it clear to him that the rules are changing and we’re going to be announcing significant changes,” the US president had said in an interview. READ | UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss visits US to discuss Ukraine war with Antony Blinken
Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Biden accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, stated that he does not care whether US President Joe Biden misunderstood things about him. The latter said that Biden must focus on ‘America’s interests’. Biden’s administration had also halted the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia scrapping the deal signed by the former Trump administration. US president’s effort to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) and holding talks in Vienna, Austria, had also irked Saudis. READ | Russia says ‘some progress’ made in talks, army asked to not ‘topple’ Ukraine Govt
Russia has strong ties with both Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its Shiite rival Iran, as well as the entire Mideast as opposed to Washington after it launched a military intervention in Syria where President Putin is backed by President Bashar Assad in civil war. Riyadh, meanwhile, like India, has strong ties with both Moscow and Washington. When asked about Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said he saw no issue with maintaining ties with both nations.
“We don’t believe that having close ties with Russia has any negative impact on our relationship with the United States,” he told reporters. “We believe that we can have strategic and strong ties with the United States while we develop our ties with Russia.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (center) welcomes Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko
After sanctioning Russian oil, the Biden administration scrambles to cement ties with oil-rich Gulf nation
As the US sanctioned Russia and announced that it would cut off the Russian oil supply into America, the Biden administration officials scrambled to cement ties with oil-rich Gulf nation Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that the requested call between the POTUS and Sheikh Mohammed was being “rescheduled”.
Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, had confirmed at a defense event that a long-standing strategic partnership between the world’s top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and Washington had strained over the latter’s accusation of Riyadh’s human rights record. The ties worsened after the Biden administration’s report on the Yemen war and the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi de facto ruler is widely known as MBS also said in remarks with Saudi state news agency SPA that Riyadh “aims to reduce investments in the United States”.
He hit out at the United States, saying: “We don’t have the right to lecture you in America,” he added. “The same goes the other way.”
Riyadh and Russia’s lead group of oil producers, share strong ties
Saudi Arabia, the only one with the capacity to spike oil production by as much as two million barrels a day, and the world’s largest exporter have warm ties with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Crown Prince MBS on several occasions re-committed to working with Russia when oil prices hit over $100 a barrel during the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia and Russia lead a group of oil producers. The former heads the 13-Member Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC), the latter heads a grouping of ten non-OPEC producers, and together they are referred to as OPEC+. Russia from its sovereign wealth fund struck deals worth more than $2 billion with Riyadh. Saudi Arabia, once a long-standing ally of Washington, realigned its bilateral ties with Moscow after King Salman’s first visit to Russia in October 2017.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (left) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Credit: AP
As the West coordinated to cut off the Russian oil supply into the market over Moscow’s Ukraine military intervention, Moscow’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned “catastrophic consequences,” adding that oil prices will surge to $300 a barrel. Russia also threatened to cut off the gas supply to Europe via Nord Stream 1. The EU heavily relies on Russia for energy imports and purchased an estimated 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2021, almost half (45%) of its gas imports and nearly 40% of the total amount used from Moscow. Moscow made comments after gas prices in Europe hit a record high of $3,900 per 1,000 cubic meters for the first time in a decade. Brent crude oil surpassed $130 per barrel.
A US delegation also scheduled an emergency visit to Russia’s Latin American ally, Venezuela, one of the firm backers of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Speculations arose that Washington may be in discussion to purchase the oil from the Latin American nation that it had sanctioned earlier. Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro administration had relocated Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company PDVSA’s offices in Lisbon to Moscow during the acute political crisis to secure its assets, but now, as the round of sanctions imposed by Western countries weighs on Russia, Moscow’s allies in Latin America Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua are just as worst hit.
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Comment: Joe Biden’s policies are Sinking the U.S. like the Titannic. Without Saudi’s or Russians or others investing in and trading in the U.S. Dollar it will soon be WORTHLESS. People here will starve.