The referendum in Crimea has been questioned by various countries, but everyone knows in a fairly transparent way that the majority of Crimeans were in favour of joining Russia. The sanctions of the EU and the United States date from the attachment of Crimea to Russia. In fact, there are NATO countries that have themselves violated international law with respect to Kosovo, which has been recognized by a number of European countries to the detriment of the territorial integrity of the borders and the Constitution of Serbia. Europeans must admit that Crimea belongs to Russia and not to say that some annexations are good and others are bad.
Pro-Kremlin disinformation frequently draws parallels to Kosovo's secession from Serbia, but Crimea's annexation by Russia has nothing to do with it.
In Kosovo, there was a civil war, with thousands of casualties and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and which Western countries stopped. This was followed by a decade of international administration and status negotiations. In 2008 the EU Council stressed that in view of the conflict of the 1990s and the extended period of international administration under Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo constituted a sui generis case. By contrast, there was no war in Ukraine until Russian military aggression http://bit.ly/2ftv6iT.
Negotiations on Kosovo's status lasted 10 years. The time period between Russia's military operation and annexation of Crimea was 20 days.
No third country annexed Kosovo, as we have seen happen in Crimea.
As for Crimea, Russia annexed it after an illegitimate referendum, organised in less than three weeks and in the presence of Russian troops, "which helped the Crimeans to express themselves", according to the president Putin. No genocide happened. Russian authorities tried to advance the narrative of the danger of Ukrainian far right activists, which were allegedly hostile to ethnic Russian population, while Russia proactively saved Crimeans from "terrorists and extremists", the minister of foreign affairs of Russia said.
According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine. Russia violated the international law as well as key principles of the European security framework by illegally annexing the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. The European Union does not recognise and continues to strongly condemn this violation of international law, which remains a challenge to the international security order. This position is based on the UN Charter, which clearly states that the territory of a State cannot be acquired by another State resulting from the threat or use of force, as well as on the Helsinki Final Act in which the signatories declared their intention to respect the inviolability of frontiers and territorial integrity.
UNGA Resolution 68/262, stating that the Crimean referendum was not valid and condemning Russia's illegal actions in Ukraine, was supported by 100 United Nations member states.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stated that “[t]he information available suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government." Click here for more information.