(NewsNation) — Tensions are ratcheting up between Russia and the U.S., reminiscent of the Cold War, as Russia faces internal strife along with the war in Ukraine.
Right now, Russia is dealing with with the bombing of a prominent military blogger in St. Petersburg while also detaining an American citizen. The White House has lobbed its objections and is also voicing frustration with what’s happening in the oil markets.
The bombing was a stark reminder of the internal strife inside Russia.
A pro-war blogger, who sometimes criticized Vladimir Putin’s generals for not pushing hard enough to win the war in Ukraine, was blown up over the weekend. He was handed what he thought was a gift, but moments later he was dead and roughly 30 others around him were injured.
The suspect was apprehended and is said to be an anti-war activist, while Russian authorities are blaming Ukraine.
As Russia investigates, it is also detaining an American journalist, Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal. He’s accused of espionage, which the White House has called ridiculous.
Over the weekend, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken wrote, “I spoke with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today to convey our grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a U.S. citizen journalist. I called for his release and for the release of wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan.”
Now Russia, together with OPEC, has made a move that will bring more pain at the pump for American drivers. They’re cutting oil production, in Russia’s case, to 500,000 barrels a day through the end of the year.
By the time the opening bell rang on Wall Street, oil prices were up 6%. The White House said it had a heads up on the announcement, but has voiced its displeasure.
“We don’t think that production cuts are advisable at this moment given market uncertainty and we made that clear, but I’d say we’re focusing on on moving ahead here on prices for American consumers, not barrels,” said John Kirby, coordinator of strategic communications for the National Security Council.
As it relates to Gershkovich, the White House said it is working diligently to secure his release. They have used the episode to warn Americans against travel to Russia.