Russian shares plunge as U.S. ups the sanctions rhetoric


Russia's Micex stock has tumbled 2% after the U.S. yesterday threatened sanctions against vital parts of the country's economy - including financial services, oil and gas, metals and mining, and defense - if the military encroached into eastern and southern Ukraine.

With Russia on the verge of annexing Crimea, the U.S. also imposed asset freezes and visa bans against senior Russian officials and businessmen close to President Vladimir Putin.

The White House sanctioned Bank Rossiya as well, a move that seems to have prompted Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA) to suspend services for payment transactions for the bank.

Russia's Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev has tried to brush it all off, saying that he doesn't see any immediate effect of the sanctions on the nation's financial sector or its creditworthiness. That's despite S&P and Fitch cutting Russia's outlook to negative from stable.

Still, the ruble is relatively steady, with the USD-RUB +0.2% at 36.421 rubles.

ETFs: RSX, RUSL, ERUS, RUSS, RSXJ, RBL, RUDR

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Comments (15)
  • roojoo
    , contributor
    Comments (143) | Send Message
     
    That's like saying "We're not imposing any real sanctions just yet, but don't you dare do this again!"
    21 Mar 2014, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (3821) | Send Message
     
    Their market is down 42% now since 2010. Wont take much to affect an economy whose commodity driven economy grew by 1% last year. Of course there are some very big US companies like Coke etc with significant operations there who will suffer also. Putins really not that popular over there where the average salary is $900 a month but if they keep going after him over a Russian speaking area choosing to join the motherland that could change in a hurry.
    21 Mar 2014, 07:10 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (3821) | Send Message
     
    And here I was thinking the WH would just defriend Putin from Obamas FB page. Appears the Russian bear fell into a trap. Maybe they can have Crimea hold the vote again till they get the result the West is looking for .
    21 Mar 2014, 06:35 AM Reply Like
  • bbro
    , contributor
    Comments (10933) | Send Message
     
    Euro-ruble back above 50....2 years ago it was 38
    21 Mar 2014, 07:03 AM Reply Like
  • Debutant
    , contributor
    Comments (2692) | Send Message
     
    I've worked in Russia for years (with long business trips in Ukraine).
    The average Russian will not mind living on homegrown cabbage and potatoes; drinking moonshine vodka and ersatz coffee for the next couple of years, if that is the price that he/she will be required to pay for a national cause.

     

    Will economic sanctions hurt the average Russian? Yes, they will!
    Will the pain of economic sanctions make him vote against the team that got Crimea back? No! Absolutely not!

     

    Remember, we're talking about a nation where couples on their wedding days visit the local tombs of "unknown soldiers" to thank them for making their happy day possible by having given their lives.
    21 Mar 2014, 07:26 AM Reply Like
  • Jake2992
    , contributor
    Comments (862) | Send Message
     
    Obama and America: 1
    Putin and his right wing sympathizers: 0
    21 Mar 2014, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (2372) | Send Message
     
    The world economy is more interrelated than we generally realize. It is hard to see the outcome of these sanctions and the US could be hurt by this more than most Americans realize.

     

    Before criticizing the Russian move to protect its people in Crimea from the Ukrainian extremists who violently and illegally took over in Kiev, please consider the role the US has had in promoting or tolerating violent border changes from Yugoslavia to Cyprus.
    21 Mar 2014, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • Andriy
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    Sakelaris - a troll. Nobody in the West believes in the Russian propaganda.
    23 Mar 2014, 04:29 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (2372) | Send Message
     
    Andriy is a Ukrainian name folks. Of course, he has every right to communicate with us, after all this is America.

     

    So Andriy, maybe you can tell us how the sanctions will never hurt the US.

     

    Maybe you can tell us about how the neo-Nazi Svoboda party in western and central Ukraine, a part of the new Kiev government and a big part of the street demonstrations last month in Kiev is just a group of misunderstood moderates. Others on here are advised to Google the Svoboda term, caution; it will make you ill.

     

    Maybe you can explain how it was okay for the new Kiev government to vote to take away Russian language rights.

     

    I did not learn of the events concerning Yugoslavia and Cyprus from Russians; I have instead over the years had occasion to talk with refugees from both places, as well as doing a lot of independent reading. Andrily, if you make your home in the United States, as I do, you are in a great country in many ways, but you are also living in the border-changing champion of the last fifty years.
    23 Mar 2014, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • Andriy
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    Sakelaris, again you are using the words of Putin, Kisilev and others. You are not in Moscow and nobody will believe your bullshit.
    Also look at the list of people who died in Kyiv and show me whether there are any extremists or skinheads. If anybody from Svoboda does any stupid all the Maidan activists act again them. In Kyiv there was a protest of peaceful people against corruption and the criminal regime of Yanukovich. Many who died are from the Eastern part of Ukraine.
    Yes, the sanctions imposed have a cost. I hope you won’t argue that imposing sanctions on Hitler would have been cheaper than WWII. Putin is following the same path and must be stopped now.
    25 Mar 2014, 06:11 AM Reply Like
  • Andriy
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    BTW, learning from refugees. You can go to Lviv (where leave banderivtsi) and talk to the refugees from Crimea who are fleeing from Russians, who came to Crimea to protect Crimeans from banderivtsi
    25 Mar 2014, 06:14 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (2372) | Send Message
     
    What can we conclude from the following?

     

    Recent deaths have occurred. There is obviously a wide gulf between the views of Ukrainians and Russians about that. They appear to be trying to avoid one another, as you point out with your account of Ukrainians fleeing Crimea.

     

    The disagreements are not only on recent events, but indeed are over the entire history of the last hundred years, when Ukrainians remember the crushing of their brief independence movement during the Bolshevik Revolution and the famine imposed by the Russian leadership afterward. The Russians remember that at least some Ukrainians supported the Nazi Germans in World War II.

     

    The conclusion might be to separate the angry peoples. This cannot be done using the borders of Ukraine as they were foolishly set up in 1991, with huge Russian populations in Crimea and elsewhere in its eastern area; the Ukrainians would find it ungovernable. It can only be done with a partition that returns Crimea and possibly some other eastern portions to the Russian state. I hope it all can be done peacefully from this point.

     

    Andriy, if you are recently entered into the US, welcome. You will notice, however, that the American interest in overseas issues is limited and that your American-born descendants over the generations will care less and less over the rivalries involved, just as my descendants are likely to care less about the Greek-Turkish rivalry that I have written about. Perhaps some great-grandchildren of ours will even marry one another.
    25 Mar 2014, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • Andriy
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    I hope that my children and grandchildren will know about the history of Ukraine not less than I do.

     

    I agree that Ukraine has suffered from Russia all the time. For them it was always a mission impossible. The Ukrainians do not buy in their crazy ideas of superiority, Russian tzar who knows the best, no matter how many times their try to oppress, destroy or re-write the history.

     

    I would also warn you against simplifications about the events during WW2. Russians occupied Western Ukraine in 1939 and started ethnic cleansing right away. It was a natural move by the Ukrainian patriots to turn to the enemy of Stalin. Once Hitler occupied Ukraine they realized that Hitler will not honor his promise about independent Ukraine and they have started fighting against Russians and Nazi’s. Don’t forget that Stalin supported nazi’s himself before 1941 (he trained Luftwaffe in Ukraine, delivered oil and clothes, mutual military parade in Brest in 1939). Moreover, Russian Vlasov army only, who fought with Hitler together, (there were others) was 600k people while all Ukrainian units were only 130k. Besides, there are documented facts that in Ukraine acted multiple saboteur groups formed from KGB troops to act as Banderivtsi, kill peaceful people to alienate locals against Banderivtsi. So please do not use Russian propaganda cliché’s

     

    Of course we need to think about future, how can we leave peacefully. Ukraine had a lot of sad moments in history with Poland as well. In a modern world civilized people can put that behind them and talk/do business together on equal terms. The history shows that Russia does not want to change and still lives by the medieval values…
    25 Mar 2014, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • Sakelaris
    , contributor
    Comments (2372) | Send Message
     
    It sounds like, because of the burden of both recent and not-so-recent history, currently neither the Russians or Ukrainians will feel safe under each others rule. So a separation of the nationalities is needed. The remaining issue is obviously where the border should be.

     

    With that in mind, I think that the Ukrainians should be happy to jettison away the mostly Russian areas in its east as a way of not having to deal with them. Do you really want the Crimea, Kharkov and Donetsk?
    25 Mar 2014, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • Andriy
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    please stop instigating separatism. According to the Freedom House the monoethnic state is one where your have more than 67% of on ethnic group. In 2001 78% of the population of Ukraine identified themselves as Ukrainians. From the rest of 22% not all of them are Russians. Moreover, the percent of people who want to join Russia is minuscule. Alsenov's party in Crimea (now Aksenov represents the all Crimean people) has commanded 4% in the last election. The actual show-up in Crimea referendum on 16th of March was 34%. So just don't ask the Russians what the Ukrainian want. You'll hear a lie
    26 Mar 2014, 01:31 AM Reply Like
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