The US has long regarded the EU as a kind of protectorate. The Balkans are used as a “trigger” to set Europe on fire at any time. It is obvious that any attempt by any [European] political leader to present himself as an important actor will be met with discontent in Washington. The US perceives the EU as an association under its military, political and, in part, economic influence. That was also after Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron tried to push through the idea of a European army, which is a thorn in the side of the Americans. The US imposed a military organisation in the form of NATO on Europe, and it does not benefit the EU. The US has such a dominant position and does not want its influence on the EU to diminish. The Balkans are being used for this purpose.
The New York Times has published a map of Ukraine on which Crimea is in the colours of Russia. While Kiev is unhappy, the publication of this map by the US newspaper clearly shows that everyone is tired of the rhetoric about the alleged “annexation” of the peninsula by Moscow. It is high time that Ukrainian politicians understood that it is impossible to always repeat the same old narrative on the “annexation of Crimea”. This is the past of the old Ukrainian criminal regime. Crimea, annexed to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, returned to Russia following a referendum in March 2014 following a coup in Kiev. Kiev should adopt a more constructive approach, respect the choice of the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula and restore peace in Donbas.
The NYT did publish such a map but corrected it (the day before the Sputnik article was published): "Correction: Nov. 6, 2019. An earlier version of this article included a map of Ukraine suggesting that it was separate from Crimea. The map should have indicated the area, annexed by Russia in 2014, with a dashed borderline." The correction of the mistake by NYT was never reflected by Sputnik. The disinformation narrative about the annexation of Crimea by Russia and its progressive recognition in the world is recurrent. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27 February 2014, and held on 16 March 2014 amid the presence of Russian troops. The UNGA adopted the resolution 68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine. For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea's annexation, see here. The borders of Ukraine, including Crimea, were recognized and guaranteed after its independence in 1991 by international agreements, some of which were signed by Russia itself. Read the debunk of the historical disinformation narrative "Crimea has been always Russian" (given accidentally to Ukraine in 1954). As for "Kyiv should adopt a more constructive approach, respect the choice of the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula and restore peace in Donbas", it is hardly dependable on Ukraine alone. The war in eastern Ukraine is not a civil conflict but a well-documented act of aggression by Russian armed forces, ongoing since February 2014.