As somebody who posts often on social media, I have noticed that there are many South Africans who do not understand how destabilizing the Ukraine-Russia war is to the global economy, and how damaging it could be to the whole world if the escalation continues.
These South Africans see the Ukraine-Russia war as something very remote and that does not impact South Africa in any way. This is a fallacy. Because what happens in countries that are part of the international trade system and produce crude oil, will affect us.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia should not be surprising to those who follow international politics. The Russia-West relations deteriorated over the years, and Ukraine became a battleground for the two worlds. How this crisis evolves in the next few days, or weeks, is dependent on whether the interested parties elect diplomacy, or a continuing war.
The war is inflicting huge damage to the people of Ukraine who are being bombarded by the Russian military, and to the people of Russia who must now endure the painful sanctions imposed by the West. The Russian people could also experience bombardment in future, and that will be damaging too.
The conflict has pushed crude oil prices up. Brent crude is now more than $110 per barrel. Like the price of any good or service, the producer or seller benefits from an increase in the price of that particular good or service. The buyer suffers, because they now have to buy that good or service at a higher price.
With respect to this increased oil price, the major producers are the happiest. For buyers and importers of crude oil like South Africa, increased oil prices are damaging, as we have to buy at a higher price, which increases fuel prices in the country.