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

It is said that Saudi Arabia, which makes the most oil in the world, wants to join the BRICS alliance.

The regional alliance, which consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, has been hailed as a significant challenger to the world order dominated by the West.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, revealed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had voiced the kingdom’s intention to join BRICS during his trip to Riyadh just one week prior.

With 17% of the world’s proven oil reserves, Saudi Arabia has long had strong economic and security connections with the US. But since Joe Biden’s victory, Riyadh has gradually gotten nearer to US adversaries like China and Russia.

The oil-producing cartel OPEC+ announced earlier this month that it will reduce oil production by two million barrels per day. Ahead of the midterm elections next month, the US criticised Saudi Arabia over the action, claiming it will directly promote Russia and harm US consumers. The BRICS nations have long advocated for the creation of new financial centres to compete with US-dominated organisations like the World Bank and IMF. Would Saudi Arabia joining the organisation aid BRICS in achieving that objective?

James Dorsey
Senior Fellow at Singapore’s Middle East Institute

Simon Mabon
Professor at Lancaster University

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