"Any political volatility or military stand off in the region will send negative signals to [people] who have investments in those countries," said Lilit Gevorgyan, a senior economist at IHS Global Insight.
"If Russia ventures into military action in Ukraine, this will have a serious impact on the performance of the Russian currency," she said.
Russia has strategic interests in its neighbor Ukraine, a country that is divided between pro-European regions in the west and a more Russia-oriented east.
Ukraine is a key route for Russian gas exports to Europe and has a large Russian-speaking population. It's also home to a Russian naval fleet, based in the city of Sevastopol in the Crimean region.