Russian Sanctions Could See Gold Prices ‘Explode’

Monday, April 28, 2014
By Paul Martin

GoldCore
GoldSeek.com
Monday, 28 April 2014

Today, geopolitical tensions have deepened with President Obama saying that the United States will impose additional sanctions on Russia targeting individuals and companies.

The move is expected to be followed by separate sanctions from the European Union. Washington said at the weekend the new sanctions would target individuals and companies close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as new restrictions on high-tech exports to Russia’s defence industry.

The geopolitical risks may overshadow a number of important reports on the U.S. economy this week.

The conflict reached a new level over the weekend, when a group of international observers from the Vienna-based Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were abducted by pro-Russian groups. The separatists later released one of the captives due to a medical condition requiring treatment, but also said they had no intention of freeing the others. Negotiations for the release of the observers are underway, Russia saying it will help as much as possible with the situation.

Western diplomats will hold high level talks today, with the goal of agreeing further and tougher sanctions against Moscow. The BBC reported that, according to sources familiar with developments, this round of asset freezes and travel bans may target individuals at the top of Russia’s energy industry. There is even speculation that Putin himself and his considerable net worth may be targeted.

Russia will likely react to these sanctions and retaliate. This could come in the form of financial, economic or currency warfare.

One unappreciated risk is that state sanctioned Russian hackers may target U.S. exchanges and financial infrastructure. Bloomberg reports that “U.S. officials and security specialists are warning that Russian hackers may respond to new sanctions by attacking the computer networks of U.S. banks and other companies.”

Cybersecurity specialists consider Russian hackers among the world’s best at infiltrating networks and say evidence exists that they already have inserted malicious software on computers in the U.S.

There are concerns that small numbers of computer experts could have the ability “to cripple the U.S. economy in a few days.”

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