Since Crimea was returned to Russia in March 2014, relations between Russia and Western countries, including the United States, deteriorated and sanctions were imposed on Russia.
This step [is] another missed chance to get out of the dead-end in which the EU has driven itself in 2014 by linking the future of relations with our country with the situation in Ukraine.
EU should abandon the policy of unilateral restrictions that do not comply with the norms and spirit of international law.
Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, Russian troops obliged the parliament of Crimea to organise a referendum, which was illegitimate under international law, and then formally annexed the peninsula and brought it under Russian territorial control.
A year after the incident, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.
Sanctions were first introduced in June 2014 in response to the attempts to deliberately undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and destabilise the country. Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy and individual restrictive measures. For the EU's statement on the sixth anniversary of Crimea annexation see here.