A continued escalation could mean a further and more serious step towards debasing the petro-dollar, which would in turn break the backbone of the American economy.
Deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine and warnings of broader US sanctions against Russia have sent tremors through Moscow’s financial markets and forced the country to cancel a sovereign debt auction yet again.
Russia’s RTS equities index fell to a one-month low, with Gazprom and Sberbank both down 3.5pc in volatile trading. Russia’s treasury pulled a 20bn rouble (£330m) bond auction intended to test the waters, saying there were no buyers at an acceptable cost. Yields on 10-year Russian bonds have jumped to 9.17pc.