Ukraine war: Russia orders its nuclear forces to be on high alert

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Russia ordered its nuclear forces to be on high alert this morning in response to “aggressive statements” from NATO powers and severe restrictions from the West.

Russia loses access to foreign reserves amidst Ukraine war

The U.S. and its allies restricted SWIFT access for key Russian banks over the weekend, and shunned dealing with its central bank that effectively restricts Putin’s access to a better part of $630 billion Russian reserves in foreign currencies.

Consequently, the Russian Ruble is down about 25% against the U.S. dollar on Monday that forced the Bank of Russia to more than double its key interest rate today. Meanwhile, “Moskvabörsen” or the Moex Russia Index remains closed due to the Ukraine war.

The VanEck Russia ETF that tracks some of the largest Russian companies is down 30% on Monday. The RSX Fund has more than halved in less than a week as Russia invaded Ukraine; on pace to its worst month since its inception in April 2007.

Russia to respond with its own set of sanctions

Despite drastic measures from the West, Russia is convinced it can weather the sanctions related to the Ukraine war. As per Dmitry Peskov – the Press Secretary for the President of Russia:

These are heavy sanctions, they’re problematic, but Russia has the necessary potential to compensate the damage from these sanctions. We have the necessary resources an tools to maintain financial stability.

On Monday, the Russian central bank barred foreigners from offloading Russian securities. Putin’s administration has pledged to respond with its own set of sanctions, which could potentially hit the energy markets as Russia is a notable global supplier of oil and gas. Oil prices are in the green today.

On the other hand, officials from both sides (Russia and Ukraine) met at the Belarusian border this morning to negotiate an end to the Ukraine war.

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