Ukraine crisis hits Russian markets
Published 03/03/2014 | 08:13
Russia's markets have dropped about 10% and its currency has fallen to its lowest point ever against the dollar and the euro because of the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.
Russia intervened over the weekend to take control of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula with strategic importance, and the new government in Kiev fears a wider invasion.
The West responded by questioning Russia's membership in the Group of Eight leading industrialised democracies, and the US threatened possible asset freezes and trade penalties.
The Moscow Exchange fell about 10% in the first hour of trading today, although it later recovered slightly.
The rouble, already down nearly 10% this year, fell below 50 against the euro for the first time. It was trading below 36.4 to the dollar, also a record.