Crude Oil Hits $95 a Barrel As Ukraine Tensions Increase
The Russia-Ukraine tensions have lately increased several folds with enhanced military positions on the borders. Crude prices have been directly impacted. Crude oil was at a high of $95 a barrel on Monday amid the warning of White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan Russia could be attacking Ukraine.
West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $94.36 a barrel with a jump of 1.3 percent from that of Friday. Similarly, Brent crude jumped 1.1 percent to $95.49 a barrel. The primary reason is believed to be the inconclusive call between US and Russian presidents on Saturday.
However, theÂ Russian defense ministry lately announced to wrap up the Crimea military drills and shared a video revealing military forces and equipment leaving the area. The update emerged following the returning of some of the troops to home bases. It indicates the cooling of tensions.
Tensions were accelerated prior to the military treat with a televised message of US President Joe Biden that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a distinct possibility. He added that the pullback reports of the troops are not verified and the number of troops encircling Ukraine has been revised from 1,00,000 to 1,50,000.
With the troop reversal claims of Russia, a series of cyberattacks were reported on Tuesday on the Ukrainian army website, major banks offline and that of the defense ministry too. It is learned about ten Ukrainian websites became unreachable including that of culture and foreign ministries.
A European diplomat said such attacks have been a longstanding component of the Russian strategy. Moscow had used the same against Georgia and Ukraine earlier.
Meanwhile, NATO's chief welcomed the move of Russia for the partial troop withdrawal and believe Moscow would look for a diplomatic solution.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the signs of diplomacy should continue, but signs of de-escalation have not yet been witnessed on the ground.
Moscow has frequently denied plans for invading Ukraine claiming the troop exercises are on its own territory.
Meanwhile, the Russian Parliament has asked Putin to recognize some breakaway Ukrainian regions in the eastern zone as an independent. The self-declared regions are Luhansk People's Republics and Donetsk. Putin said the problems should be solved with respect to the Minsk agreement that was signed in 2014.
Commercial satellite images show Russian military activity at the border areas near Ukraine. Attack helicopters, warplanes and large troops could be seen.
Poland-based Rochan consultancy director Konrad Muzyka said several days are needed to verify the latest Russian moves with the help of satellite imagery. It is yet to be believed the announcement made by Moscow is equipped with reality.