Russia-Ukraine Peace Talks Stall

A four-way summit aimed at ending military tensions on the borders of Ukraine looked to be in doubt on Monday, as German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, warned of a lack of progress from Russia.

Foreign ministers from France, Russia, Ukraine and Germany are due to meet in Berlin on Monday, but talks between the country’s leaders – slated for Thursday — look to have stalled.

It comes after a phone call between the German leader and her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Sunday. Merkel told Putin that she was concerned about the persistent tensions and humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement by German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
Kiev and pro-Russia rebels had agreed on a peace plan for the conflict in September, but Merkel warned that she wanted to see concrete progress. She urged Russia to use its influence on the separatist rebels in the region to help resolve the tensions.

The Russian ruble sank around 2.5 percent against the U.S. dollar on Monday morning, with the greenback appreciating to around 62.8000 by 8:30 GMT. On Friday, the ruble closed at 61.2800 against the dollar, as credit rating agency Fitch downgraded Russia’s credit rating to a BBB- with a negative outlook.

Despite the gloom, Bob Parker, a senior investment, strategy and research advisor at Credit Suisse, said he believes 2015 could see a cooling of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and a stabilization in the ruble.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza