Russia has announced plans to restrict the trade of goods and raw materials, in response to the US and UK imposing bans on its oil and gas supplies yesterday.
The Kremlin issued the order last night, but is yet to provide details on which products will be affected as part of the retaliatory measure against the West.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed the cabinet to define the items, and prepare a list of countries that restrictions will apply to over the next two days.
The country is a major exporter of energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal, alongside metals like gold, palladium, steel, nickel, aluminium, cobalt and copper.
Commodity prices have surged amid fears of supply shortages, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with natural gas prices hitting record highs in the UK and Europe, oil prices have soared to $130 per barrel, while gold has peaked above $2,000 per ounce.
Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange was forced to suspend trading in nickel – with markets remaining closed – as prices doubled over one morning to $100,000 per tonne.
Aside from limits on taking currency out of the country, Russia’s retaliatory measures have been vague since its invasion of Ukraine.
The country has committed to selling gas to world markets, however Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has warned Russia could off supplies to the West if the country is hit with energy sanctions, including threats to restrict gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
So far, the European Union has not targeted Russian energy supplies with sanctions, despite the US and UK opting to ban oil and gas yesterday.
The bloc still relies on Russia for around 40 per cent of its natural gas and 30 per cent of its oil supplies – making it highly dependent on Kremlin-backed energy to meet rebounding post-pandemic demand.