Environment

Oil markets breathe a ‘sigh of relief’ after Russian mutiny was aborted

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin issues a statement in Moscow on June 24, 2023 as Wagner fighters stage rebellion in the biggest threat to Putin’s quarter-century grip on power.
Pavel Bednyakov | AFP | Getty Images

Oil prices rose on Monday after an attempted insurrection in Russia stoked fears that energy supplies would be disrupted by potential unrest in one of the world’s largest oil producer nations.

The armed rebellion by Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner group of mercenary fighters, posed the biggest threat to Vladimir Putin’s 23-year grip on power.

West Texas Intermediate futures rose nearly 1% to just below $70 a barrel in Asia trading, after shedding almost 4% last week. Brent crude was up 0.95%.

“We have seen in the early market moves that risk off is being played out in play in the commodity markets,” Chris Iggo, AXA’s Chief Investment Officer for Core Investments, told CNBC.

“The fear that any disruption in Russia could lead to further disruptions in the global energy market.”

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Wagner mercenaries led by Prigozhin were marching toward Moscow on Saturday, after reportedly taking control of southern city of Rostov. The armed rebellion was abruptly called off on Sunday.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the criminal charges against Prigozhin were dropped after his forces turned back, state-controlled outlet TASS reported.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin guarantees that Prigozhin will be able to leave Russia for Belarus,” TASS reported.

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