by Megan Haymond
Russia declared Crimea a “sovereign and independent” state to support a referendum from Sunday, March 16, that demonstrated 97% of Crimeans supported leaving the guidance of the Ukraine and being annexed by Russia. However, the Ukraine declared the annexation of Crimea unacceptable. President Obama declared the referendum a violation of the Ukrainian constitution and said that the international community would not recognize an annexation. The United States published sanctions against leaders of both Ukraine and Russia as the tumult in the East continues.
The referendum means that Crimea will adopt Russian policies along with moving ahead 2 hours to synchronize time with Russia. The transition from Ukrainian control to the supervision of Russia will be completed by the end of March. Not only will the control of Crimea shift, the economy of Russia will experience a negative turn as countries such as the United States and members of the European Union practice sanctions that will prevent import and export of Russian goods like crude oil and natural gas. Western countries may also prevent Russia from trading with the World Trade Commission or allowing their banks to operate.
There are significant risks on the Western side to blocking trade between the countries. Yet President Obama continued to take a strong stance on the issue alongside European partners saying that, “Further provocations will achieve nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world” (CNN).