Ukraine: Why it matters to you and your family

GB News Economics and Business Editor Liam Halligan asks what the Russian invasion means for your finances

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This is a MILITARY war between Russia and Ukraine. But be in no doubt, Russia and the West are also at war – an East-West ECONOMIC conflict.

I don’t see British or American boots on the ground in Ukraine anytime soon – or a NATO no-fly zone.

But the West has met Putin’s aggressive invasion, rightly, with unprecedented sanctions on the Russian economy.

That's impacting not just Russia, but the cost of living across the West including Britain. And that affects you and your family.

With the US Congress now debating a ban on Russian oil exports, crude prices this morning hit almost $140 a barrel – a 15-year high.

Russia pumps over 10 percent of the oil the world uses each day.

If we do ban Russian oil exports, Moscow could cut gas supplies to Western Europe – which relies on Russia for 40pc of our gas.

Petrol and diesel prices have soared since Russia invaded two weeks ago.

And now this US draft law which could embargo Russian oil has sent prices on the forecourt higher still.

Over the weekend, petrol and diesel topped £1.70 a litre in some parts of the UK – more than 20 per cent up on recent weeks. Industry insiders warn we could soon see £2 a litre.

For many of us, filling our cars or vans isn’t a luxury. We need our wheels for work, to earn a living.

And this East-West economic war means household utility bills are ALSO set to rise, given that we use gas to generate much of our electricity.

Back in October, energy regulator Ofgem capped average household utility bills at £1,277 a year.

We already know that cap increases to £1,970 next month – April 2022 – a massive 54pc rise, but as this conflict causes global energy prices to spiral, we could see average utility bills hit almost £3,000 this autumn – more than doubling in a year.

Russia and Ukraine also account for a third of global wheat and barley exports and a fifth of all maize – much of it shipped through Ukrainian Black Sea ports now mired in conflict. That’s why global food prices are soaring.

As UK farmers will tell you, fertiliser prices are also spiralling upward – again, Russia and its ally Belarus are among the world’s leading exporters. So higher cultivation costs will push up the price of food grown here in Britain too.

For months, “On the Money” has warned about the UK’s cost of living crisis. Each day, we offer advice, while pushing the government to do more.

The UK is right to counter Russian aggression with sanctions, but as this conflict escalates, the impact on living standards will be felt here too.