It looks as Russia is making money of the Ukraine crisis. While the West is talking about sanctions and only talks remain, the only result of them is pushing some of the prices of natural resources up. The prices of resources which main producer is… Russia.
Nickel and palladium are the stars today with impressive price peaks. The fear of stopping the Russian export may be leads to accumulating reserves from industries dependent on these materials. So instead of paying a price for Ukraine, Russia is making more cash.
At the moment the main Russian exports are with declining prices. Natural gas is going down along with crude oil (Brent). But it is not clear if this is due to crisis or is exactly the opposite – the crisis lowers the speed of falling of the prices. The main buyer of Russian gas is Eastern Europe that uses it for heating in winter. With the warm winter and the start of the spring, it is logical the gas price to go down. The same is with crude oil, that is expensive in winter (energy and heating) and in summer (cars for vacations), and has lower consumption in spring. So it is absolutely possible Russia to gain at the moment with prices higher that they would be without crisis. As for Eastern Europe stopping the impost of Russian gas would mean an entire economic catastrophe, it is logical to assume these countries are accumulating gas in their reservoirs at the moment. In fact it is proven Ukraine did so - frightened of the risk of stopping the supply due to not paid quantities from the past.
This trend de facto helps Russia as it pours fresh cash in its reserves that can be useful in a case of real sanctions. If Russian export is being limited it will began an exhaustion battle between Russia and the West. Russia will start losing cash for importing consumer goods. And West will go in a recession and face increasing budget deficits. Eastern Europe will go bankrupt with blocked economy and a need for large scale bailouts – something like the size of Greek one for every EE country. So it will be a race who will crash financially second.
With the pre-battle period positive for Russia at the expense of the West, it is obvious she is winning with the time passing.