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Gas prices, plane fares could climb as Ukraine crisis persists

By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas -- The price of traveling on the ground and in the air could rise in the Borderland as a result of escalated protests in Ukraine.

According to economists, the price of gas and plane fares could skyrocket if Russia threatens to turn off supplies to Ukraine.

"One of the first things that will happen is the exports of oil-related products out of Russia will probably be emgargoed," said Tom Fullerton, a UTEP economics professor.

UTEP economics professor Tom Fullerton said the embargo will cause the price of gasoline and jet fuel to rise in the United States.

"The price impacts will probably be more severe in western Europe than they are in the United States, but the Western Hemisphere will not be immune from those effects," Fullerton said.

The economist said this is just the tip of how the political unrest in Ukraine could have a larger impact on the overall global economy..

"The western European economy is already in a vulnerable position and it wouldn't take much to tip them into another recession," Fullerton said.

Fullerton said this would affect the U.S., since western Europe is a target market for a large percentage of U.S. manufactured exports.

However, Fullerton said El Pasoans should not be too concerned about a price hike in gas or plane fares yet.

"At this point, most analysts are guardedly optimistic that a crisis will be avoided, but it can't be ruled out," Fullerton said.

Fullerton said it is unclear how high gas prices or plane fares could climb.