Russian forces launched an all-out assault on Ukraine on Thursday, claiming to be the largest European invasion since World War II.
Following reports of troops crossing the border and explosions in multiple cities, including the capital, Kyiv, US President Joe Biden condemned what he called a “unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces” on Wednesday evening.
“Russia is solely responsible for the death and destruction caused by this attack, and the United States, its allies, and partners will respond in a united and decisive manner. Russia will be held accountable by the rest of the world “In a statement, Biden said.
The war has obvious ramifications for European and global political stability. However, it is putting additional strain on a global economy that is already weakened by inflation, rising energy prices, a constrained supply chain, and the ongoing pandemic.
Here are some of the implications of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine for Americans and others around the world. Learn more about Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine, which have already harmed the country’s banks and military.
Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil and natural gas, accounting for roughly 40% of the gas consumed by the European Union. Sanctions imposed by the West could limit access to that supply, especially now that Germany has halted construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was intended to transport natural gas from Russia to the EU via the Baltic Sea. He added that an extended conflict could see prices go as high as $150 a barrel. If that happens, Dicker warned, Americans could be shelling out up to $7 a gallon at the gas station.
Russia is the world’s leading exporter of palladium, a metal used in automotive exhaust systems, fuel cells, mobile phones, jewelry, and dental fillings. Rising palladium and other essential metals prices – Russia is the second-largest producer of platinum after South Africa – could lead to price increases for manufacturers and, eventually, consumers.
As news of the Russian invasion spread, the global stock market took a hit: the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 830 points Thursday morning, while the Nasdaq composite fell about 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 fell 2.5 percent.
According to the Financial Times, this week has been the most volatile in the market since Russia seized Crimea eight years ago. “Markets are waking up today to the reality that this is the greatest threat to European security since World War II,” emerging-markets strategist Tim Ash told the Financial Times. “I think a lot of foreign investors were still long on Russian assets, and it seemed like the locals overwhelmingly didn’t expect an invasion.”
Both the Treasury and Homeland Security departments have issued warnings about potential cyberattacks on US banks, hospitals, government offices, and power grids in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Katerina Sedova, a researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, told NPR that she is more concerned about misinformation and influence campaigns aimed at “sowing discord between us and our allies.”
Ukraine, known as the “breadbasket of Europe,” is one of the top five corn exporters in the world, with 35.9 million metric tons traded in 2019. An extended open conflict would almost certainly raise prices in Europe, not just for corn but also for related goods such as cooking oil, corn syrup, and livestock feed.
Soybean prices have risen in the United States in recent months as a result of an unusually poor crop in South America. If US farmers are forced to make up the difference in both corn and soybeans, which compete for land, prices for both crops, as well as the cost of packaged goods made with them, are likely to rise.
According to commodities economist Arlan Suderman, Russia is the world’s largest exporter of wheat, a crop that Ukraine also exports. Together, the two countries account for nearly a third (29%) of global wheat trade.
Due to the tensions at the Ukraine border, as well as the potential for harassment against US citizens, the embassy’s limited ability to assist American citizens, terrorism, COVID-19, harassment by Russian government security officials, and “arbitrary enforcement of local law,” the State Department issued a Level 4 advisory against Americans traveling to Russia in late January.