Wilson Center – Saudi Arabia and Oil: Between the United States and Russia
Until recently the Saudi-American alliance, established at the end of World War II, seemed unshakable. Its parameters were clear to both sides: security for energy. The United States built military bases in the region and supplied the Saudi army with training and equipment. Saudi Arabia, on its part, was committed to supply cheap oil to fuel the economies of Washington’s allies in Europe.
However, lately Saudi Arabia has been bucking that trend. Riyadh refused to condemn the Russian invasion to Ukraine and rejected American and European requests to increase oil output in an effort to alleviate the current energy crisis. Moreover, early this month Saudi Arabia led OPEC+ to adopt a resolution on production cuts.
This panel, co-hosted by the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program and Kennan Institute, will explore why Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy has shifted and what goals Riyadh hopes to achieve.