The price of the Russian ruble fell sharply against the U.S. dollar Monday after fighting increased in the eastern part of Ukraine and U.S. President Barack Obama raised the prospect of further sanctions against Moscow.
The greenback appreciated to 65.5660 against the Russian currency in morning trade on Monday after ending Friday's session at 64.0100. This was a 2.4 percent jump during the morning session and was due to an "increased sanctions risk" and the lower price of oil according to a note by Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research at Standard Bank. Russian stocks on the Russian MICEX index were lower by 2.5 percent at 9:30 a.m. GMT on Monday.
The weekend saw heightened tensions in the region of Mariupol with the current cease-fire being put further under strain following a rocket attack Saturday. Seven Ukrainian serviceman have been killed in the last 24 hours, according to the military spokesperson Vladislav Seleznyov who was quoted by Reuters, with 24 being wounded.
The rocket attack in the Ukrainian city has been strongly condemned by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said Saturday that the attack appeared to have been launched indiscriminately into civilian areas, constituting a violation of international humanitarian law.
Speaking on a trip to India, Obama said Sunday that the U.S. would promote a "core principle" of making sure that "large countries don't bully smaller countries" and said it would continue to support Ukraine's ability to control its own territory.