This morning oil prices are pulling back significantly on news of Ukraine and Russian officials meeting today. These significant wartime talks come as the Russians are also asking for economic and military assistance from China, though nothing official has been initiated yet. The eyes of the world are now set on the East as negotiators begin deliberations to hopefully bring an end to this harmful conflict.
Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, tensions have been high in the region and around the world. As sanctions have taken hold, concerns have grown about the potential global economic ramifications, including a possible recession. Moreover, the world cannot yet rule out the possibility of a broader conflict involving direct NATO-Russia confrontation. Still, the situation in Ukraine may calm down as Ukrainian and Russian negotiators are set to meet sometime today. According to reports, this meeting will be taking place via online video conference, and many are optimistic a compromise can be reached between the two sides. Since the invasion, Russia has already agreed to allow safe zones for Ukrainian citizens; however, the death toll continues to rise as Russian missiles are hitting populated areas. It is estimated that the invasion of Ukraine has caused over $119B in damages and has claimed around 15,000 lives.
While earlier negotiations between the two countries focused on administering aid to invaded cities and evacuating Ukrainian citizens, a cease-fire and withdrawal of Russian troops is now the primary objective for Ukraine. Previous talks have gone anything but well, and this will be the fourth time the two sides discuss the next steps. Russia seems more willing to listen now than in the past two weeks, but there are still questions that need answering. One concern for many governments is that while Russia engages in these “peace talks,” heavy artillery shelling continues in Kyiv even today as more people were killed in a government-building attack. Oil prices might hover around current levels this week until we hear major news from the warzone, but a complete truce between the two sides would certainly help global markets as they try to navigate these volatile times.