The Annexation of Crimea and EU Sanctions: An Ineffective Response

  • Kiegan Barron University of Victoria
Keywords: sanctions, oil, natural gas, Crimea, annexation, Russia, European Union


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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Author Biography

Kiegan Barron, University of Victoria

Bachelor of Arts
Departments of History and Political Science
Areas of interest: populism; fascism; German history; 20th-century history; the Cold War; international relations


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