Relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia are in the throes of an ice age.

President Joe Biden wants to reassess the relationship with the kingdom.

The Washington administration is angered that the OPEC Plus oil-producing cartel, where Saudi Arabia plays a leading role and works thriving with Russia, has decided to cut oil production by up to two million barrels a day.

It wants to support the price of oil.

"There will be some consequences for what they did to Russia," Biden told CNN.

"I'm not going to go into what I would consider and what I have in mind.

But there will be consequences.”

Christopher Ehrhardt

Correspondent for the Arab countries based in Beirut.

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The president and his team tried to use their influence to prevent the cartel from taking action.

First, because it could lead to higher gasoline prices just weeks before key congressional elections, which in turn could hurt Biden and his party, the Democrats.

On the other hand, because a higher oil price benefits the Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, who finds it easier to fill his war chest.

Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a statement that the president was "disappointed with OPEC Plus' short-sighted decision to cut output while the global economy is grappling with the ongoing negative impact of Putin's invasion of Ukraine.”

"Putin and Saudi Arabia versus the United States"

Far sharper voices came from the President's party.

"Let's be very frank," Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-leading Democrat in the Senate, said on CNN.

"It's Putin and Saudi Arabia versus the United States." Other Democratic congressmen are pushing for cuts in arms sales to the kingdom.

The leadership in Riyadh tried to limit the diplomatic damage.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan defended the OPEC Plus cartel's "unanimous" decision as "responsible" and "reasonable" in an interview with Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya.

She had economic reasons, he explained.

At the same time, Prince Faisal bin Farhan acknowledged the "strategic partnership" with the United States, which has been an institution since its inception.

But the relationship between the two countries has suffered.

The cordiality that prevailed when the Saudi King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud and the American President Franklin D. Roosevelt met on the deck of the cruiser USS Quincy in the Suez Canal in 1945 is no longer the case.

Both men, who are said to have been impressed by each other, laid the basis for a close partnership that worked according to the formula: America guarantees the kingdom's security in exchange for access to affordable energy from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia fiercely opposed nuclear deal

Today the formula has long been in question, both sides are disappointed in each other.

The American president and the Saudi de facto ruler, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, obviously don't particularly like each other personally either.

During the election campaign, Biden sharply criticized the kingdom and his heir to the throne for the human rights situation and the murder of the well-known critic of the crown prince, Jammal Khashoggi.

He had used words like "pariah" and "scoundrel".

Even Biden's visit in July, during which he tried to convince Saudi Arabia to increase production in order to mitigate the economic consequences of the Ukraine war, was not able to improve relations significantly.

But even under Biden's predecessors, doubts about the strength of the common business basis had increased in Saudi Arabia.

Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump made it clear to the kingdom that its security was no longer in America's national interest.

Wanting to turn his back on the region, Obama signed the nuclear deal with Iran, the Gulf kingdom's arch-rival.