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(WGHP) — The Russia-Ukraine crisis is playing out more than five thousand miles away from the Piedmont Triad but could soon have an impact on how much you pay to travel. 

“We have to stop them now before it spirals out of control,” said Dr. Thomas Porter, a Russian history professor at North Carolina A&T State University. “It’s just not a good situation that Putin has put the world in.”

Porter has studied the region for more than four decades and visited 30 times. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin aims to reintegrate the collapsed Soviet Union by invading Ukraine.  

The region is rich with oil and natural gas, which is currently Russia’s largest export to Europe and the United States.

“Russia is just a gas station with nuclear weapons,” he said. “If they don’t export it then the rest of the world is going to feel that somewhere, and that would be here at home.” 

Porter told FOX8 the gas prices you pay at the fuel pump or heat your home could double if Russian troops invade. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if gasoline was about seven dollars a gallon within a couple months of Putin invading Ukraine if in fact he does,” he said.

The impact would not stop at the gas stations.   

“If we hurt them economically, they’re going to start shutting down electrical grids. They’re going to start shutting down hydroelectric stations. They’re going to try to shut down nuclear power plants,” Porter said. “They’re going to go full bore into cyberwar.” 

He said if the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allow Russia to change borders through aggressive military force, it would break international law and set a dangerous precedent for the world. 

“A country that is aggressive and pushes the envelope, there’s a chance for any kind of incident to set off a wider war, and it could end up being world war three,” he said.