MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian stock exchange has been in the red this week with investors worldwide putting portfolio decisions on hold as events in Ukraine unravel.

The Ukrainian factor remains crucial for the Russian market, as revealed by a selloff Tuesday following violent clashes in southeastern Ukraine that led to several fatalities. The expectation for Wednesday is a moderation of the decline, unless positive news comes in from the conflict zone.

The ruble has shown the same trend and will continue to lose value, with a chance to regain some ground if the background of news in the region remains neutral.

To suppress the unrest in southeastern Ukraine, interim President Olexander Turchynov announced an anti-terrorism operation earlier this week involving the country’s military. Moscow has repeatedly urged Kiev to establish a peaceful dialogue with the protesters to consider their calls for federalization. The ongoing crisis is a disturbing investment environment, which could send ripples across the region and globe.

On the positive side, China released better than expected GDP growth data with the general investment sentiment staying quite positive for Asia, but this may be offset by the upcoming talks in Geneva on possible full-scale sanctions against Russia.