Saudi Arabia and Russia, acting as leaders of the OPEC+ energy cartel, agreed on Wednesday to their biggest production cuts in more than two years in a bid to raise prices, countering efforts by the United States and Europe to choke off the enormous revenue that Moscow reaps from the sale of crude.

U.S. President Joe Biden and European leaders have urged more oil production to ease gasoline prices and punish Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine. Russia has been accused of using energy as a weapon against countries opposing its invasion of Ukraine, and the optics of the decision could not be missed.

"This is completely not what the White House wants, and it is exactly what Russia wants,” said Bill Farren-Price, the head of macro oil and gas analysis at Enverus, a research firm. It also puts Saudi Arabia on a diplomatic "collision course” with the United States, he said.