A week after Democratic American President Joe Biden visited Riyadh to, allegedly, ask the Saudis to consider increasing output, the Kremlin disclosed on Thursday that MBS, the Saudi Crown Prince, spoke by phone with Putin to discuss “stability” in the world’s oil markets.
While he insisted that asking for more Saudi oil was not the goal of the trip, it is unclear how this would help lower gasoline prices at home without allowing American oil companies to drill more.
While MBS seems to be undermining this goal by maintaining close ties with Putin, Biden did assert that the visit would in some ways “fight Russia’s aggression.”
Through an awkward fist bump between Biden and MBS, the visit served to normalize diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, something Biden had pledged he would not do on the campaign trail in 2020. The visit has yet to result in any real benefits for the United States.
Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing an economic boom that is largely being supported by high oil prices, which disincentivizes the nation from implementing policies that might lower those prices.
According to Russian news agency Tass, Putin and MBS allegedly discussed sustaining agreements between OPEC+ countries, which include Russia and are members of the oil cartel and an allied group. This group’s goal is to “keep stability on the world market.”
“It was noted with satisfaction that countries — participants in this format are consistently fulfilling obligations undertaken for purposes of maintaining the required balance and stability on the global energy resources market” an official Kremlin statement on the call read.