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Crimea sanctions continue and expand – as expected

December 19, 2014

In yesterday’s entry the following statement was made:

“It is beyond doubt that the sanctions raised specifically with regard to the annexation Crimea will continue. They are likely to continue for years – renewed annually. The recognition of Crimea as part of the Russian Federation will not come any time soon – if ever. To do so accepts illegal annexation as a path to changing recognised territorial boundaries. With the exodus of the Tatar and ethnic Ukrainians from Crimea, and an influx of Russians, not to mention atmosphere of intimidation and suppression those Tatar and Ukrainians that have remained now face, any future referendum would no longer represent the will of the population at the time of annexation. To think otherwise would be retarded – even if floated as a politically expedient way to deal with the Crimea problem.

That said, both the Kremlin and the EU could cope with continued sanctions relating specifically to Crimea only for decades to come. It is the sanctions that followed, relating to eastern Ukraine that are a thorn in the Kremlin side, and also the area where European unity will be put to the test. Indeed it would be no surprise to see sanctions relating to the territory of Crimea increase, whilst sanctions imposed relating to eastern Ukraine eventually subside. In effect Crimea and those involved, (and are yet to do so), will become ring-fenced as a separate issue from events in eastern Ukraine as time passes, leaving Crimea a perennial bone of contention, whilst eventually a transactional – rather than business as usual – relationship with the Kremlin eventually becomes the normative when matters in the east are far more to the collective European liking.”

Today’s European Council press statement has done nothing to change the above – indeed it reinforces what was written.

 

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