US President Joe Biden tells CNN there will be some consequences for America’s Mideast ally after a Riyadh-led coalition of oil-producing nations decided to slash output.
US President Joe Biden has promised “consequences” for Saudi Arabia after a Riyadh-led coalition of oil-producing nations sided with Russia to cut output in a bid to boost prices.
“I’m not going to get into what I’d consider and what I have in mind. But there will be consequences,” Biden told US broadcaster CNN on Tuesday.
The 13-nation OPEC cartel and its 10 allies headed by Moscow angered the White House last week with its decision to cut production by two million barrels a day from November, raising fears that oil prices could soar.
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud told the Al-Arabiya channel on Tuesday that the OPEC+ decision was purely economic and was taken unanimously.
He added that OPEC+ members acted responsibly and took the appropriate decision, saying that the alliance seeks to stabilise the market and achieve the interests of producers and consumers.
The OPEC decision was widely seen as a diplomatic slap in the face since Biden travelled to Saudi Arabia in July and met with Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
Earlier on Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said that Biden was "willing to work with Congress to think through what that relationship (with Saudi Arabia) ought to look like going forward," although he clarified that no formal discussions had yet begun.
His remarks came a day after Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the influential Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for Washington to halt all cooperation with Riyadh.
"The United States must immediately freeze all aspects of our cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including any arms sales and security cooperation beyond what is absolutely necessary to defend US personnel and interests," Menendez said.
"As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will not greenlight any cooperation with Riyadh until the kingdom reassesses its position with respect to the war in Ukraine."
READ MORE: US's Yellen slams OPEC+ decision to cut oil as 'unhelpful and unwise'
US arms sale to Saudi Arabia
The partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia was sealed after World War II, providing the kingdom with military protection in exchange for American access to oil.
Fraught with crises, the relationship was revived by Biden's predecessor Donald Trump, whose single term saw Riyadh accounting for a quarter of US arms exports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Continuing the rapprochement, Biden's State Department announced in August that Saudi Arabia would buy 300 Patriot MIM-104E missile systems, which can be used to bring down at long-range incoming ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as attacking aircraft.
Saudi Arabia has faced recent rocket threats from Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have been supplied with Iranian equipment and technology.
Biden said last week that he would look at alternatives to prevent gas price hikes.
These could include further releases from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially increased domestic drilling, as well as more drastic measures, including limits on exports.
READ MORE: Biden mulls OPEC response amid questions over Saudi arms sales