No. 2 US diplomat says it’s Putin’s fault that oil prices are going up

The no. 2 US diplomat at the State Department hit out at Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, blaming him for increasing oil prices.

The price of brent has soared due to Western sanctions against Russia due to their invasion of Ukraine.

Despite pressure from the US, OPEC countries have refused to increase their production and chosen to stick to a deal previously agreed between member states.

Asked if the US was consulting with its Gulf allies and other OPEC members, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Washington was consulting “with everyone.”

“But let everybody remember that if the price of oil is going up, it is Vladimir Putin’s fault. It is his responsibility to end this war and allow the markets to work in the way that they should, as opposed to having countries like the United States say they’re not going to buy Russian oil anymore,” Sherman told Al Arabiya in an interview.

“We are indeed talking with the OPEC countries, other countries that produce oil to try to stabilize the markets,” she added.

Sherman also pointed to the impact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was having on other countries in the Middle East, “even if they’re nowhere close to what’s happening in Ukraine.”

“Many countries, Yemen, Lebanon, Egypt, all require wheat from Ukraine and from Russia. And now they’re quite worried about food insecurity as they should be,” Sherman said.

The US diplomat noted that the US would work with the World Food Program, other allies, and “with our own planting in the United States” to ensure enough food for the world. “But it’s going to be a big challenge.”

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