The U.S. Department of State issued a press release on the third anniversary of the occupation of Crimea stating, “The United States does not recognize Russia's “referendum” of March 16, 2014, nor its attempted annexation of Crimea and continued violation of international law. We once again reaffirm our commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The press release also reiterated, “Crimea is a part of Ukraine. The United States again condemns the Russian occupation of Crimea and calls for its immediate end. Our Crimea-related sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the peninsula to Ukraine.”

EU Extends Sanctions Related to Russian Annexation of Crimea

On March 3, the EU extended for one year its asset-freezing measures against certain persons responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds or human rights violations in Ukraine. Subsequently on March 13, the EU extended for six months its sanctions against 150 individuals and 37 entities it finds responsible for “…actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine.” These two sets of sanctions will thus continue to apply until March 6, 2018, and September 15, 2017, respectively.

In parallel, EU restrictive measures remain in place on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol until June 23, 2017, while the EU’s sectoral sanctions against Russia remain in place until July 31, 2017.