Risk-off start to week: Russia's Putin puts nuclear deterrence forces on high alert


In the latest escalation to the Ukraine crisis, Russia's Vladimir Putin has been reported to order his military to put Russia’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert.

“Senior officials of the leading Nato countries also allow aggressive statements against our country, therefore I order the minister of defence and the chief of the general staff [of the Russian armed forces] to transfer the deterrence forces of the Russian army to a special mode of combat duty,” Putin said in televised comments.

The Guardian reports:

''The Russian leader is prepared to resort to the most extreme level of brinkmanship in his effort to achieve victory in Ukraine.''

''The US accused Putin of “totally unacceptable” escalation and made clear that it would keep up its support of Ukraine and punitive measures on Russia. With the EU also announcing unprecedented new measures against Moscow, it was clear that Putin’s assault on Ukraine had failed to yield the quick victories he had anticipated but had instead rallied a concerted western response that was potentially devastating for Russia’s economy.''

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, announced that a delegation from Kyiv would meet Russian officials without preconditions on his country’s border with Belarus, but it was far from clear Putin was ready to entertain talks that did not involve compliance with his demands that Ukraine accept partition and disarm.''

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Russian President Vladimir Putin's threats of using nuclear defense systems "dangerous rhetoric."

"This is dangerous rhetoric. This is behavior which is irresponsible," Stoltenberg said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"If you combine this rhetoric with what they're doing on the ground in Ukraine- waging war against the independent sovereign nation, conducting full fledge invasion of Ukraine- this adds to the seriousness of the situation," he also said.

"That's the reason why we both provide support to Ukraine but also why we over the last weeks and months have significantly increased the presence of NATO in the eastern part of the alliance," he added.

Last week, the Russian president also warned countries that interfere with Russian actions will face “consequences you have never seen." 

Market implications

A risk-off start to the week would be expected and the yen's Doji is worth noting:

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