— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on March 18, Tuesday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily
Russia has signed on the dotted line and taken possession of the Ukrainian region Crimea.
In the wake of a referendum on Crimea's status, Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed off on a decree recognizing Crimea as sovereign state. In response, the US and EU have collectively imposed sanctions on 11 key Russian and Ukrainian officials who were involved in the invasion of Crimea.
US markets rallied in relief, but it could all look quite different going forward. Here's what the analysts had to say:
[Soundbyte on tape by Brendan Brown, Head of Research, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International] I think from the point of view of economies and markets, the key is really going to be to see how this percolates through into Germany economy and German prospects, and potentially, optimism and pessimism of the German business world, and the interdependence between Germany and Russia. So I would really be looking at indicators as to what effect this is having on Germany, and business sentiment.
[Soundbyte on tape by Erik Ristuben, Chief Investment Strategist, Russell Investments] It's clear by the level of sanctions and the breadth of sanctions that both the EU and the US have kept a lot of powder dry - powder that they're probably threatening to use if Russia extends beyond Crimea into Eastern Ukraine or Ukraine itself - and I think that's why they kept some of the powder dry. The real issue here is, Russia can turn off the gas, but they can't really afford that economically. They're teetering on recession as it is and that probably sends them into something that looks a lot worse than recession.
[Soundbyte on tape by Tom Price, Global Commodity Analyst, UBS] If Russia and the Ukraine don't reach some sort of resolution, they could crank those sanctions up and of course, Russia is a producer of all sorts of things - a big country. We talked a lot about oil, gas production, but they're also big wheat producers - they're in the top 5 of global production. Between the Ukraine and Russia, they produce about 15-20% of total wheat products, so it's a big chunk of production there. But there are other commodities too that Russia delivers to the market. About 20 million tonnes of metallurgical coal, and they do about 80 or 90 million tonnes of thermal coal. It's a big commodities producer, so it's meaningful across quite a lot of markets.
Li Sixuan, reporting from CNBC's Asia headquarters.
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