The Annexation of Crimea and EU Sanctions: An Ineffective Response
Ongoing geopolitical developments regarding Russia and Ukraine have resulted in discussions about the utility of sanctions. This article analyzes European Union (EU) sanctions on Russia following the annexation of Crimea by investigating whether EU-Russia oil and gas trade relations compromised the efficacy of restrictions. It thus argues that the EU did not sanction Russian oil and gas due to EU reliance on these resources. However, the absence of sanctions on these industries cannot be held responsible for Russia’s refusal to leave Crimea since restrictions that were put in place still notably impacted the Russian economy. Hence, other considerations, such as the general inefficacy of sanctions, unintended consequences of the EU restrictions, and deeper historical reasoning clarify why Russia’s occupation of Crimea persisted.
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