Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 prompted international sanctions and Western attempts to isolate the Kremlin. And relations between Russia and the West remain at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War. But the West’s response has had no effect whatsoever on Russia’s position. Despite international protests, Russia is in full control of the peninsula and nearby areas. Infrastructure has been built there, including a road and rail bridge across the Kerch Strait to connect Crimea to Krasnodar Krai in Russia.

Western sanctions have affected dozens of Russian officials and business people, but have not seriously damaged the Kremlin. Today the West seems more divided on further sanctions than it was in 2014.

Attempts to isolate the Kremlin diplomatically have been equally ineffective. Although Russia is no longer invited to G7 meetings, President Putin is a full-fledged participant in G20 summits. He has received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sochi, French President Emmanuel Macron in St. Petersburg, and the leaders of Asian countries in Vladivostok.

Over the past five years, US $ 23 billion have been allocated  for the development of Crimea . 92% of the peninsula’s inhabitants supported President Putin in the 2018 Russian presidential election. Today almost half of all Russians consider the rejoining of Crimea to Russia as a reason of pride.

Crimea is being brought ever more closely into the Russian fold, while the international community continues to dispute Crimea  under the Russian Federation and does not recognize the peninsula’s de facto status.

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