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How the Russia-Ukraine conflict could impact the US

Experts are monitoring changes to the travel and oil industries

HARTFORD, Conn. — As we eye the global impacts of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, people might be wondering what the conflict could mean for the U.S. economy.

Dr. Matthew Schmidt, Associate Professor of National Security, International Affairs and Political Science for the University of New Haven, said while Ukraine has no strategic significance to the U.S., be on the lookout for a rise in oil prices.

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“We’re already seeing today’s markets are driving the price of a barrel of oil upwards of $100,” Schmidt said. “Americans will hear a lot about gas pipelines and wonder about that. It’s unlikely that that will affect natural gas prices here in the U.S. because we’re talking about pipelines from Russia to Europe. We don’t get gas from Russia.”

The travel industry is also looking out for potential changes as oil prices rise, which could mean more money for your next flight. 

“We all know those planes use a lot of fuel so airline CEOs have been pretty curt about it before saying, when oil prices go up, we have no choice but to raise fares, so folks can see average fares rising partially as a result of oil prices,” said Willis Orlando, the Senior Flight Expert with airfare alert service Scott’s Cheap Flights.

Orlando said some European airlines are already stopping routes to and from Kyiv.

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As for food prices, Schmidt said while Russia and Ukraine produce a lot of the world’s wheat, the U.S. is self-sufficient so it won’t have too much of an impact--perhaps some on American farmers if the prices on the world market change.

Patrick Gourley, Assistant Professor of Economics with the University of New Haven, shared with us how much the situation could impact the U.S.

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“The United States isn’t tied that closely to the Russian economy, and I think that there could be some effects mainly to the stock market, anytime there’s a threat of a conflict, but compared to Europe I don’t think the United States is going to see near as adverse effects,” said Gourley.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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