OPEC move shows the limits of Biden’s fist-bump diplomacy with the Saudis
The move by OPEC on Wednesday to reduce oil production sharply undercuts President Biden’s effort to avoid an increase in gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, while setting back his push to constrain the oil revenue Russia is using to pay for its war in Ukraine.
It also exposes the failure of his fist-bump diplomacy over the summer with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.
In both optics and substance, the move by OPEC and its allied oil producers underscored the challenges the United States faces in managing its foreign and economic policy at a time when the global economy is at risk of recession, and energy politics has emerged as a key component of the conflict in Ukraine.
The decision came during a meeting at OPEC’s Vienna headquarters that was attended by Russia’s deputy prime minister, who is under American sanctions. It followed a concerted but ultimately unsuccessful diplomatic effort by Washington to halt the oil production cut, a signal that Mr. Biden’s influence over his Gulf allies was far less than he had hoped.