BusinessDay

Oil prices surge to $105 per barrel as Russia attacks Ukraine

Crude oil benchmark price Brent, rose to $105 per barrel (bpd), hours after Russia attacked Ukraine.

The price rose by three per cent from closing at $101 bpd on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. This will be the first time prices shot this high since 2014, when the price was $107.95.

However, Russia’s dramatic escalation of the Ukraine crisis has continued to spark fears of a disruption to the region’s critical energy exports.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president earlier announced this week sent “peacekeeping forces” into the two separatist regions recognized by Moscow, heightening fears among western governments of a full-blown invasion of Ukraine.

Read also: Russia – Ukraine conflict: What you need to know

However, in a nationally televised address early Thursday, Putin directed the Ukrainian soldiers to lay down their arms and go home.

He said Russia doesn’t plan to “occupy” its southern neighbour, but that Russia must “defend itself from those who took Ukraine hostage” — the U.S. and its allies who had crossed Russia’s “red line” with the expansion of the NATO alliance.

“I have made the decision of a military operation… whoever tries to interfere with us, and even more so to create threats for our country,” he warned. “Our people should know that Russia’s response will be immediate and will lead you to such consequences that you have never experienced in your history.”

Meanwhile, the European Union Council has released a joint statement to this effect.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprecedented military aggression against Ukraine.

“By its unprovoked and unjustified military actions, Russia is grossly violating international law and undermining European and global security and stability,” the statement read.

However, the EU is currently coordinating a response with its neighbours and international partners, including The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Group of Seven (G7) whose leaders already convened.

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