Fuel and energy prices set to soar as Russians invade Ukraine in haunting echo of 1938 Sudetenland invasion

 In Energy, News

Energy prices look set to soar in oil and gas dependant Portugal after Russia attacked parts of the Ukraine over night on Thursday.

The invasion, which had chilling echoes of Hitler’s 1938 invasion of the Sudetenland, led the Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa to admit that the war in Ukraine would upset Portugal’s State Budget for 2022 which is unlikely to be fully approved before the the start of the summer.
António Costa warned that rising energy prices on oil and gas would be the main factor affecting the budget, and did not rule out beefing up Portugal’s defence budget. However, the prime minister said it was still too early to make a proper evaluation.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, he said, “first, we need to know the extent and duration of the conflict”, and then we need to know the “counter-measures (meaning sanctions) that will be applied to Russia”.
The United States and Western Europe are currently blocking Russia’s access to the financial markets and freezing the assets of oligarchs, military figures, and politicians who prop up the regime in Moscow, and cutting ties with some Russian banks.
“When we know the extent of this, we can make a full evaluation of the situation”, said Costa without going into further details. The draft State Budget for 2022 will be delivered to the Portuguese parliament at some time in April for debate.
Stock markets around the world fell on Thursday with billions being wiped off shares, led by the Moscow stock exchange which was in freewill down by around 30%. Russian banks lost 50% as the rouble all but collapsed. Russian shares recovered on Friday but only by 14%.
The MOEX Index fell 40% to 1.900.84 points, with several company shares felling more than 50% for the session, particularly Russian energy companies Rosneft, Gazprom and Sberbank.
The RTS Index fell 49% by Thursday evening to 610.33 points after closing the Wednesday session 1.204,11 points.
The Russian rouble plummeted to a historic low on Thursday, trading at 89.98R for $1US.
The price of oil for April deliveries has shot top to US$102 per barrel.
The Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa called for a ceasefire and signalled that what was important now was “an immediate reply at various levels from our country”.
In London the price of Brent (the European benchmark) climbed by around 6% to US$102.84, while the price of Gold rose 1.8% to US$1.942.8 per ounce.

Photo: Ukraine Ministry of the Interior Website.