by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
The Kremlin held a winning hand in oil negotiations and did not play it. Washington and Saudi Arabia desperately needed Russian agreement to their plan to raise the price of oil by cutting production and reducing the supply of oil. Russia can tolerate $20 or $25 barrel of oil, but the highy leveraged and bankrupt US fracking industry cannot, and neither can Saudi Arabia’s bloated state budget. All the Kremlin had to say was:
“We will save your bacon by giving you a higher oil price, but we want something out of the deal for ourselves. Here is what we want. All sanctions removed, not only from us but from Cuba, Venezuela, China, and everywhere else. These sanctions are illegal under international law and constitute acts of war. We have run out of patience with them.