- Putin says that “bloodshed will be fully and wholly” on the conscience of Ukraine’s government if Kyiv does not cease military action
- Tension at Ukraine’s border seems to have increased, leading to further sell-offs
Bitcoin and European markets fall after Putin addresses the Russian people
European equity markets fell Monday as Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed through plans to recognize the independence of two Russia-backed territories in Ukraine, stoking the threat of an invasion. Cryptocurrencies were unscathed.
Putin outlined the move in a speech, saying any further bloodshed would be on the Ukraine government’s conscience.
“As for those who captured and are holding on to power in Kyiv, we demand that they immediately cease military action,” Putin said. “If not, the complete responsibility for the possibility of a continuation of bloodshed will be fully and wholly on the conscience of the regime ruling the territory of Ukraine.”
The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, condemned the ploy.
“This is plainly in breach of international law. It’s a violation, a flagrant violation of the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine,” Johnson said. “It is a repudiation of the Minsk process and the Minsk agreements, and I think it’s a very ill omen and a very dark sign.”
Putin’s speech wasn’t helpful to already-volatile and hurting markets. US markets were closed for Presidents’ Day, but the UK’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX both fell. The FTSE 100 dropped by 1.14%, while the DAX fell by almost 2.1%.
Bitcoin took a mild hit, starting the day positive, but ending the business day down by 0.25%. Ether remained positive to close up 1.52%. Terra, a top-ten altcoin, seemed to ignore the global uncertainty with an 8.5% daily pump.
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Putin’s remarks on Kyiv and the two Russian-backed territories in Ukraine seem to have set the stage for more Russian advancements. The potential for conflict appears to have increased, leading to further sell-offs as investors await the next development.
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