At the end of September and following the G7, the European Union announced what it believed to be one of the most effective weapons to dry up Moscow’s warlike finances while fighting its own energy crisis: a cap on the price of oil. .
A few weeks later, and while the continent has not yet managed to stop drinking from the Russian source to quench its thirst for energy, wreckage for the West, which sees its plan seriously undermined.
Led by Saudi Arabia and complemented by Russia, facing a severe drop in the price of crude, the OPEC countries announced their decision to cut their oil production by two million barrels per day for the month of November , the equivalent of 2% of the global supply.
A few weeks before the inevitably crucial midterm elections, the Biden administration is of course furious: fighting at home against galloping inflation – led in particular by energy prices – it has long pressured its allies within OPEC, starting with Saudi Arabia, so that they do not reduce their production in this way.
She thus accuses Mohammed bin Salman, crown prince of the Saudi crown, now Prime Minister in office and a patent admirer of Vladimir Putin, of aligning himself with Russia.
While Riyadh had played the intermediary in an exchange of prisoners between kyiv and Moscow this summer, it is the entire policy of the Biden administration in the Gulf which is called into question, after a summer visit with meager results that some had described as “humiliating” for the United States.
The European Union can share his ire. By thus increasing the price of crude oil, the decision of the oil cartel once again excludes India and China from its strategy vis-à-vis Russia. The two countries, which seemed somewhat distant in recent weeks from deliveries of Russian oil at discount prices, are all the more likely to fall back into the arms of Moscow as the world price of crude rises sharply.
In Europe as in the United States, this cut in world production also risks annihilating some of the costly policies put in place to curb energy prices and inflation. And to help fill the coffers of the Kremlin, no doubt delighted to be able to finance more easily in the coming months a war in Ukraine that it is losing on the ground, as well as in the long economic term.