If Russia invades Ukraine, the oil will “certainly” exceed $120 a barrel, and the global economy would be “radically changed,” according to senior analyst David Roche.
Although Moscow has denied any intention of attacking Ukraine, it has sent 130,000 troops, tanks, missiles, and even new blood supplies to the border. The Kremlin has maintained that Ukraine should never be admitted to NATO’s military alliance and that NATO’s influence in Eastern Europe should be decreased. On Monday’s “Squawk Box Europe,” Roche alluded to the uncertainty over Russia’s next steps as “the ghost in the room,” a threat that might destabilize global markets.
“I believe that if there was an invasion of Ukraine and sanctions were placed that restricted Russia’s access to foreign exchange mechanisms, communications systems, and so on, or prohibited them from exporting their goods, whether oil, gas, or coal, you would see the prices of oil at $120 a barrel “he stated.
Oil prices have been steadily rising since the beginning of the year when they were trading around $80 per barrel. Brent crude oil contracts for April delivery were slightly lower on Wednesday, at about $90.50 per barrel.
On Sunday, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a warning that an invasion might occur “any day now.”
Even if the impact on oil prices was ignored, Roche predicted that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would have far-reaching economic consequences. Many market participants, he warned, were underestimating the potential consequences of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“In my opinion, most investors consider Mr. Putin as background music,” he remarked. “I am confident that Mr. Putin would disagree.” According to Roche, if Putin does “something substantial” in Ukraine, the US and its allies are likely to impose severe sanctions on Russia, then European equities markets and the global economy’s outlook will be “radically modified.”
The “mother of all sanctions” on Russia, according to US politicians, is being developed as a way of protecting Ukraine that would be “crippling to [Russia’s] economy.” Ministers from the United Kingdom and Germany have also warned that any strong action against Ukraine would have a negative economic impact on Moscow.
Experts believe Russia is willing to risk “severe financial damage” in an all-out war in Ukraine to achieve its political objectives.