Border dispute in Ukraine expected to have economic impact in the U.S.

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 6:16 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Political leaders across the globe are watching closely at the moves Russian President Vladimir Putin makes.

The tensions in Eastern Europe hit home, particularly hard, for Filip Viskupic, who teaches political science at South Dakota State University. In 2013, he moved to the United States from Slovakia, which neighbors Ukraine.

Along with most world leaders, he assumes the Russian advance is a power grab by Putin.

“He might have these ambitions to restore Russia to what he believes is the rightful position of power in the world, which they lost after the Cold War ended,” Viskupic said.

While the border of Ukraine is thousands of miles from the U.S., what happens there will have a global impact.

“It’s just a part of that international supply chain, so once that’s disrupted it’s going to affect everybody,” Viskupic said.

Especially at the pump. According to AAA, nationally, gas prices are already 90 cents higher than what they were a year ago.

“Even though Russia is not China when it comes to being an economic powerhouse, Russia is basically a big gas station,” Viskupic said.

Couple this with record inflation and ongoing supply chain issues, and Americans are expected to notice another jump in prices at the grocery store. The stock market has also taken a recent hit because of the volatile situation.

Will Prigge, a history professor at SDSU, says past territorial disputes have shaken up the world.

“There are really two great periods of border drawings in the past 100 years,” Prigge said. “The first was after the first World War, and the second one was after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.”

Prigge says modern warfare is as much about cybersecurity and the economy as it is the frontlines. And, as for boots on the ground, Prigge says it’s unlikely the U.S. would send troops to Ukraine because they aren’t a member of NATO.

“You cannot have American troops facing off against Russian troops, and I think it’s one of the reasons why we’ve been so hesitant to include countries that have these disputed territories, Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia, into NATO, because the potential for conflict is greater there,” Prigge said.

The largest concern for allied countries is a full-scale invasion.

“If the shooting starts, and it’s beyond the current conflict line, this will get bad fast, it’ll absolutely be historic,” Prigge said.

The tension over the Ukrainian border is growing by the hour. The Biden Administration has pledged support for Ukraine and is prepared to issue severe sanctions against Russia, if necessary.

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