Strait Talk

Should the US Be Worried That Saudi Arabia Wants to Join BRICS?

The world's largest oil producer Saudi Arabia, is reportedly asking to join the BRICS group. The regional bloc, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, has been touted as a serious counterweight to the western led world order. Just a week ago during his visit to Riyadh, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed the kingdom's desire to join BRICS. Saudi Arabia, home to 17% of the world's proven oil reserves, maintained close security and economic ties with the US for decades. But since the election of Joe Biden, Riyadh has steadily moved closer to US rivals like Russia and China. Earlier this month, the oil producing cartel OPEC+, announced it would cut oil production by two million barrels a day. The US blasted Saudi Arabia for the move, saying it would directly support Russia and hurt US consumers ahead of next month's midterm elections. The BRICS countries, have long called for new financial centres to counteract US dominated institutions like the IMF and World Bank. Would Saudi Arabia's inclusion into the group help BRICS achieve that goal? Guests: James Dorsey Senior Fellow at Singapore's Middle East Institute Simon Mabon Professor at Lancaster University

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