While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine rages on, many around the world can only watch. But heavy sanctions on one of the world’s largest energy producers will send shockwaves through most countries.
In northcentral Pennsylvania, the impacts will be felt first in food sales, according to Craig Miller, historical and political science professor at the Pennsylvania School of Technology. As many nations, including the United States and England, push back against Russia by levying sanctions, this will inevitably impact its massive energy exports.
“In this area, the biggest challenge is the reverberating effects of an increase in energy prices,” Miller said. Higher costs “could reverberate through the economy and cause other prices to rise, food in particular. The higher the cost to transport goods to retail outlets, the higher the prices of those goods will be.”
By adding insult to the already growing injury of inflation, the increase in food prices will mean people need to “find ways to do more with less.”
“I’m not really sure what options people have,” Miller said. “We are going to have to start being smarter shoppers.”
As a historian, predicting the future is admittedly not Miller’s specialty, however he added that it would be naive to underestimate the possibility of Russia invading countries beyond Ukraine.
“I don’t think it’s likely,” he said, adding that Russian president Vladimir Putin has been clear that his goal is to overthrow the government of Ukraine and bring it back under Russian control.
While the global economy braces and some hope it will be a short recovery, the possibility that Putin could move on to attack a country within NATO is not off the table.