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The Trump-Russia Showdown Over Oil
Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during the meeting of Commission for Changing Constitution at the Kremlin on February 26, 2020 in Moscow, Russia
Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The Trump-Russia Showdown Over Oil

Walter Russell Mead

The bitter competition between the Trump administration and Vladimir Putin’s Russia may be the most underreported geopolitical news story of our time. While many American Democrats remain firmly convinced that President Trump is in Mr. Putin’s pocket, the Kremlin has embraced a costly and risky strategy aimed at undercutting what it sees as a dangerous growth of U.S. power. In recent weeks, the struggle has grown more intense as Russia has sacrificed longtime allies Venezuela and Iran in a no-holds-barred attempt to counter the Trump administration’s efforts to reshape world energy markets and undercut Moscow’s power.

The latest chapter began when Saudi Arabia launched a price war aimed at persuading Moscow to cooperate with Riyadh to keep oil prices from crashing. When the Kremlin refused to support the Saudi strategy of cutting production to stabilize prices, Riyadh announced record-breaking production increases at a time of weakening oil demand. The Saudis likely hoped that falling prices would force Russia to embrace the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ production cuts.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.

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