According to senior strategist David Roche, if Russia invades Ukraine, oil prices will “certainly” rise over $120 per barrel and the world economy would undergo a “dramatic transformation.”
Despite its denials, Moscow has dispatched 130,000 soldiers, tanks, missiles, and even fresh blood supplies to the border. The Kremlin has claimed that NATO’s influence in Eastern Europe should be reduced and that Ukraine should never be allowed to join the military alliance.
On “Squawk Box Europe” on Monday, Roche made reference to the threat that might destabilize global markets as “the ghost in the room” that is the uncertainty surrounding Russia’s upcoming actions.
“I believe that if Russia were to invade Ukraine and sanctions were imposed that limited Russia’s access to foreign exchange mechanisms, communication systems, etc, or tried to prevent them from exporting their commodities, like oil, gas, or coal, you would almost certainly see oil prices at $120 [a barrel] at that point in time,” he said.
Since the beginning of the year, when oil prices were about $80 per barrel, prices have been continuously climbing. Brent crude oil futures for April delivery were slightly down on Wednesday, trading at around $90.50 per barrel.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan issued a warning that an invasion might occur “any day now.”
Roche predicted that even if the impact on oil prices was ignored, a Russian invasion of Ukraine would have broad economic consequences. He expressed concern that many market participants were underestimating the potential effects of the Russia-Ukraine problem.
According to him, the majority of investors only pay attention to Mr. Putin as background noise. “Mr. Putin would disagree, I’m sure of it,” According to Roche, if Putin does “something major” in Ukraine, the US and its allies are likely to impose harsh sanctions on Russia, and the outlook for the global economy will be “radically changed.”
Politicians in the US claim that the “mother of all sanctions”—sanctions that would be “crippling to [Russia’s] economy—are being developed against Russia as a method of safeguarding Ukraine. Ministers from the UK and Germany have also issued warnings that any harsh measures taken on Ukraine will have an economic impact on Moscow.
On the other hand, experts contend that in order to further its political objectives, Russia is willing to risk “severe financial destruction” and full-scale conflict in Ukraine.