Oil prices are plummeting. They have gone down as much as 20% since June. This - together with Western sanctions - weaken Vladimir Putin´s chances to continue his policy of aggression in Ukraine and elsewhere:
Lower oil prices could have lots of knock-on effects around the world. Take Russia, which depends on oil sales to bring in foreign currency. The Russian government has set its three-year budget with the expectation that oil prices would stay at $100 per barrel. A sustained fall in prices could cripple the Russian economy and run up deficits.
Indeed, some energy analysts are starting to wonder if an oil crash might even force Russia to pull back in Ukraine and elsewhere. And on Tuesday, the Russian finance minister warned that the country could no longer afford a multibillion-dollar upgrade to its armed forces that had been approved by President Vladimir Putin
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