Threat of Russian invasion could impact Middle Tennessee's economy

Ukraine Russia
Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 11:44:10-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The cost of Russian exports like wheat and gas will likely skyrocket in the mid-state due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The Biden Administration has announced additional sanctions against Russia due to the threat of a full-blown Ukrainian invasion. This time they're targeting a pipeline company after Germany halted the project. It would have transported natural gas directly from Russia to Germany.

Since 2014, roughly 14,000 Ukrainians have died in war with Russian separatists, according to Vanderbilt University History Professor Thomas Schwartz. But now, Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking it one step further.

"He has dedicated himself to restoring the power of Russia. And he sees that as one of his principal legacies. And that power means domination of both Belarus, which he’s already now largely in control of, and Ukraine," Schwartz explained.

The United States has been sending weapons to Ukraine for years so they can defend themselves.

"Our aid to Ukraine has been relatively minimal than other countries we’re connected to. In fact, the Obama Administration really did not want to even provide lethal aid. The Trump Administration actually began the process of providing it, and President Biden has accelerated that process," Schwartz said.

Now, thousands of U.S. troops from places like Fort Campbell have been deployed to countries that neighbor Ukraine. "In effect, what the United States is concerned with, is if Russia is able to change the boundary of Europe through force. That sets a terrible precedent for other international conflicts particularly, for example, China and Taiwan,” Schwartz said.

Economic sanctions have come down against Russia as a repercussion, and now we're starting to see the impact on the oil and gas industry.

"If supplies from that area are cut off, that’s going to send the price higher," Schwartz said. "There’s an international market for gas and oil, that’s going to push the price up around the world."

Schwartz said the Biden Administration hasn't played all its cards yet. They could impose stricter economic sanctions which would cut Russian finances off from the rest of the world.