WAL - prompted pessimistic talk of a new Cold War
But what impact could a resurrected East-West stand-off have on the world economy? Global stock markets sold off heavily yesterday, implying investors believe the impact could be highly adverse.
America’s S&P 500 retreated by 1 per cent. The FTSE 100 shed 1.49 per cent. Stock markets in Asia also fell. But the biggest shock was on Russia’s RTS index of shares, which shed 12 per cent. If shareholders are correct, Russia will suffer most from this escalation.
Energy is a key sector. The region accounts for a quarter of the world’s natural gas reserves. Conflict could halt exploration in Ukraine, which has ambitions to be an exporter by 2020. Chevron has a $400m (£240m) contract to tap Ukraine’s Oleska shale gas fields. The company said yesterday it had stepped up security in response to the arrival of Russian troops in Crimea at the weekend.