OREANDA-NEWS  The Russian stock market accelerated its decline on Monday, losing 10% by 10:00 GMT, trading data showed.

The ruble-traded MICEX Index fell below 1,900 points for the first time since February 24, when Russia started its military operation in Ukraine, and the dollar-denominated RTS was also down 10%.

“The Russian equity market has gone sharply down in recent days amid geopolitical risks, exacerbated by general negative trends in global equity markets and falling commodity prices,” business daily RBK quoted experts from BCS investment company as saying.

Oil prices have fallen by roughly 20% over the past month, with the US benchmark WTI trading just above $78 a barrel and the global benchmark Brent crude at $85 per barrel for November contracts at the time of the writing.

Shares in Russia’s third-largest private oil company, Surgutneftegas, showed the biggest decline on Monday, of nearly 20%.

The strong ruble also presents a challenge for exporting companies.

A threat by Western countries to impose more sanctions on Russia has further dampened investors' optimism, RBK writes.