EU, U.S. mull potential fallout from further action against RussiaUpdated: 2014-03-20 06:28:04 (KST)
Despite threats from both sides of the Atlantic, Russian President Vladmir Putin is moving ahead with the annexation of Crimea.
Could the tensions with the European Union and United States escalate into a full-blown trade war?
Such a scenario would hurt Russia, which relies heavily on the EU for trade, but it could also hurt the European countries that account for more than 80 percent of Russia's oil exports and more than 75 percent of its natural gas.
The trade volume between the EU and Russia is estimated at more than 460 billion U.S. dollars.
An economic crisis in Russia and a troubled EU would also deal a blow to the U.S. economy at a time when the Fed is trying to reverse its bond-buying stimulus program.
So far, the EU has frozen assets and imposed travel bans on 21 Russians and Ukrainians and the U.S. has imposed similar sanctions on eleven people.
EU leaders may consider additional sanctions on Russia when they meet in Brussels next week and the list is thought to contain more than 100 people.
To put pressure on Putin, the EU and the U.S. could also seek to remove Russia from international bodies such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank.
"We have to recognize that there would be a very high risk of retaliatory sanctions by Russia against American companies and maybe Americans living in Russia."
Already in jeopardy are the many areas where the U.S. and Russia have cooperated.
The two nations have been working to contain the spread of nuclear weapons, U.S. access to the International Space Station depends solely on Russian rocket launches and American soldiers moving within Afghanistan fly through Russian airspace.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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