U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen delivers remarks at the Freedman's Bank Forum at the Department of Treasury in Washington, DC on October 4, 2022. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 9 (UPI) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Sunday called the decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to cut oil production "unhelpful and unwise" amid frustrations that other countries are not doing enough to help Ukraine.
Known as OPEC+, the group announced plans Wednesday to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day beginning in November. Members of OPEC+ include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela among nonmember countries and their allies, including Russia.
"I think OPEC's decision is unhelpful and unwise -- it's uncertain what impact it will end up having, but certainly, it's something that, to me, did not seem appropriate, under the circumstances we face," said Yellen, in an interview with Financial Times.
"We're very worried about developing countries and the problems they face."
Amrita Sen, the chief analyst at Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg ahead of the decision that OPEC+ would be seeking to "pre-empt any possible surpluses" created by a drop in demand as the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world raise interest rates to address the recent spike in inflation.
Yellen spoke to Financial Times ahead of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank's annual meetings in Washington, D.C., this week, which are expected to include heavy discussions on inflation and the prices for commodities, including oil and gas, and the effects on them caused by the war.
"I think we're going to exchange views on whether our countries are addressing these problems, and try to consider whether our collective reaction adds up to something that is sensible, and the best we can do, in that difficult environment," Yellen said.
She told Financial Times that there is growing frustration in Washington, D.C., that some U.S. allies are not delivering on promises to provide Ukraine with economic aid.
"A number of countries have pledged significant economic assistance, but simply haven't quite gotten around to dispersing it. The pace of transferring money to Ukraine is far too slow. There are commitments but the money needs to be deployed," Yellen said.
"We need to see other countries meet the pledges that they've made. And it's critical to get this funding to Ukraine as rapidly as possible."