Fareed Zakaria’s April 21 column in the Washington Post, “The only plausible path to keep the pressure on Russia,” calls on the US to get Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern oil states to cut their price for oil. Fareed believes that if oil prices remain over $100 a barrel, Europe’s energy crunch will lead to a European recession and growing opposition against sanctions on Russia.
The US has been unable to persuade Saudi Arabia to increase oil supply because the US has condemned the Saudi ruler, Mohammed bin Salman as an evil, bad man. Under him Saudi Arabia has murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, waged war on Yemen, and generally been unhelpful on Middle Eastern issues. The Council of Foreign Relations has recommended that the US make explicit pledges to Saudi Arabia on these issues, including promising a new US security umbrella and Saudi recognition of Israel, in return for Saudi help on oil prices.
Fareed recognizes that making nice with Saudi Arabia will be a hard pill to swallow for the US government and many Americans, but for the big picture and the long term, it is the best option for continued support of Ukraine against Russia.