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SINGAPORE (MNI)

President Vladimir Putin in a televised address announced military action into disputed territory in eastern Ukraine on 24 February, adding that the “occupation of Ukraine is not part of our plan” as the energy market fallout built on Thursday.

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures gained above $100.00 a barrel, hitting a high of $102.08 a barrel in the Asian afternoon and last trading around $101.31 a barrel.

Other energy market reaction, particularly for natural gas, is expected to be extremely volatile as it is not clear at present what impact the decision will have on the transit of Russian pipeline gas through Ukraine for European customers.

The oil and gas price sensitive Russian rouble weakened to 86.6 against the dollar on 24 February, according to Reuters' data, from a level around 79 against the dollar before the announcement. It was down 9.18% month-to-date and 13.22% on year. The Moscow Exchange suspended trading across all markets.

BIDEN RESPONDS

U.S. President Biden responded to the incursion in a statement said “the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way. The world will hold Russia accountable.”

Biden later spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and repeated the intention to launch strong sanctions on Russia in concert with allies. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau said "significant sanctions" are coming for Russia.

The U.S. president plans to meet with his security team on 24 February to announce further sanctions against Russia on 24 February.

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