If the specter of the second cold war descending into outright smoldering status doesn't send the S&P promptly to all time highs, nothing will. Moments ago the White House accused Russia of violating the 1987 missile treaty, in response to a still unspecified ICBM launch, calling the "breach" a "very serious matter."
In another sign of deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, the U.S. government said on Monday that Moscow had violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty, and urged immediate bilateral talks on the issue.
"This is a very serious matter which we have attempted to address with Russia for some time now," an administration official said in a statement.
"The United States will, of course, consult with allies on this matter to take into account the impact of this Russian violation on our collective security if Russia does not return to compliance," the official said. (Reporting
An administration official says the United States has notified Russia of its determination that it broke the agreement by testing a new ground-launched cruise missile. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.
The issue has simmered for a few years, but until Monday the United States had not made the accusation public. Russian officials say they have looked into the allegations and consider the matter closed.
And just so it is clear that the US is now picked the "escalation" of the prisoner's dilemma, also moments ago AGP reported that the US is now weighing the risks of aiding Ukraine militarily. Specifically, senior American military officers are discussing the possibility of "providing Ukraine with more precise intelligence that would allow it to target missiles held by pro-Russian forces, US officials said Monday."
But no decision is imminent and some officials are concerned such a move could backfire by escalating the conflict between Ukraine and the rebels backed by Moscow.
"That's part of the discussions," said one defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, referring to the possible enhanced intelligence sharing.
"It's all part of looking at how we can help the Ukrainians," the official told AFP. But he added there were risks in providing Ukrainian forces with information that could help them strike at pro-Russian fighters in the country's east.
The New York Times first reported that the Pentagon and spy agencies were looking at sharing more precise, real-time intelligence with Kiev to enable its military to go after surface-to-air missiles blamed for taking out several of its aircraft The White House has yet to hold a debate on the issue among high-level officials, the paper reported over the weekend.
A second Pentagon official downplayed the likelihood of the move and underlined the dangers involved.
"There's not enough military equipment that Washington could provide to counter Russian influence," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"There's a risk that the more weapons we provide to the Ukrainians, the more Russians escalate and step up their role," the official said.
For the moment, President Barack Obama's administration has provided only limited intelligence to Ukraine and has avoiding supplying weapons to Kiev.
But the moment is about to end.
And now, sit back and enjoy as the wealth effect washes over you while halfway around the world the likelihood of war, as was hinted by a Putin advisor earlier, is looking increasingly realistic, conveniently on the 100th anniversary of the war to end all wars.