WASHINGTON, March 18 In an unusual move, the
White House on Tuesday recommended that investors avoid Russian
stocks as the political rhetoric heated up in the dispute over
Moscow declaring Ukraine's Crimean peninsula part of Russia.
"I wouldn't, if I were you, invest in Russian equities right
now, unless you're going short," White House spokesman Jay
Carney said, half smiling, at a press briefing.
Stressing that the United States was preparing a new round
of sanctions, Carney told reporters that the long-term impact of
Russia's bid to annex the Crimea region of Ukraine would have an
impact on Russia's economy.
"They will also incur costs because of the sanctions that we
and the EU have imposed," Carney said.
The United States and the European Union imposed travel bans
and asset freezes on a handful of officials from Russia and
Ukraine accused of involvement in Moscow's seizure of the Black
Sea peninsula, most of whose 2 million residents are ethnic
Russia's stock market was hammered in the run-up to
the weekend referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region in which
voters overwhelmingly said they wanted to join Russia.
However, the market rallied on Monday and gained another 2
percent on Tuesday and the rouble rose after Russian
President Vladimir Putin said Russia would not seek to further
Investors noted the initial sanctions did not target
businesses or executives, but the White House has signaled a
fresh round of sanctions could hit some on the business side.