Oil prices rose and financial markets reacted negatively on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered draft reservists to Ukraine and warned of a major conflict escalation.
In a televised message on Wednesday, Putin said the West “wants to destroy our country” and blamed Western nations for starting a proxy war with Russia.
“In its aggressive anti-Russian policy, the West has crossed every line,” Putin said. “This is not a bluff. And those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that the weathervane can turn and point towards them.”
The rare national message followed recent Russian battlefield defeats that raised speculation about the course of the war.
“Conscripts will obligatorily go through additional military training based on the experience of the special military operation before departing to the units,” Putin said.
Financial markets reacted negatively to Putin’s comments with oil prices spiking more than 2% and the Russian ruble slumping around 2.6% against the dollar.
Brent crude futures were $1.35, or 1.5%, higher at $91.97 in late trading in Europe, while West Texas Intermediate crude was at $85.14 a barrel, up $1.20, or 1.4%.
Putin’s message also raised concerns of tighter oil and gas supply in Europe.