As Russia's invasion of Ukraine caused global energy prices to spike, the US looked to its traditional gulf partners to increase supply. However, Mohamed bin Zayed and Mohamed bin Salman chose not to - refusing President Joe Biden's calls and even raising prices, whilst making overt gestures of support for Putin.
In this episode, Iyad El-Baghdadi and Ahmed Gatnash discuss how the war in Ukraine has pushed a wedge between the US and its traditionally-close gulf allies, and what this means for the future of the Middle East.
02:40 - The economic context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine
04:40 - Alternative sources of energy and autocracies
08:00 - The gulf oil producers are acting differently
09:30 - Why Saudi's reaction is a bad idea
12:30 - Changing dictatorships through economic engagement
14:00 - Europe's reaction to war and the dictators' underestimations
18:20 - The shift in relationships from unconditional to transactional
21:00 - MBS taking political changes personally
23:55 - The Atlantic interview, disinformation, and MBS' continued self-owns
27:30 - US security guarantee isn't in doubt, but it's not enough
33:25 - The failure of dictatorship as a management system
38:10 - Is Saudi Arabia maximising profit for its national budget?
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