Former Ambassador: Crisis in Ukraine Could Impact Your Wallet

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

COLLEGE STATION, Texas The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has some far-reaching effects that could end up hitting your wallet.

"There area a number of reasons to be concerned," said Retired Ambassador Larry Napper.

Senior Lecturer at the Texas A&M University George Bush School of Government and Public Service, Napper knows a thing or two about U.S., Russian relations. He served as ambassador to Kazakhstan and the Republic of Latvia. Like Ukraine they were both once a part of the former Soviet Union. Napper also served as Director of the State Department's Office of soviet Union Affairs from 1991 to 1994.

While military action from the U.S. is unlikely at this point, President Barack Obama said the United States is examining a series of economic and diplomatic steps to "isolate Russia." Such an isolation could have a global impact.

"Fundamentally, we don't want to see a return to the cold war confrontation between Moscow and Washington," said Napper. "And there are overtones of such a confrontation in this episode."

The conflict could end with a punch to your wallet as well.

"We need to remember that Russia is the second largest exporter of oil in the world, right with Saudi Arabia," said Napper. "And if, for any reason, Russian oil supplies were withdrawn from the global oil market, that could have some important price implications."

Napper said the global oil market is kind of like a bathtub.

"All the oil pours into a big bathtub with numerous spigots into it, and numerous spigots out of it," said Napper. "And that global price for oil is determined by that global input and global output."

Beyond financial concerns, Napper says the principal of the matter is what's truly at stake.

"There's no UN resolution in which Russia is doing this. Putin is doing this unilaterally. This kind of behavior is pretty outrageous," said Napper.

Napper said the most important thing to do now is to continue to support Ukraine's interim administration.

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