Crimea Back to Russia and Economic Sanctions Against Russia
When Putin realized that the unrest in Ukraine would ultimately lead to the ousting of President Yanukovych, jeopardizing the gas-for-fleet Kharkov pact, he started planning a countercoup. In the beginning of 2014, therefore, Russia took back the Crimea with popular support in the peninsula. By so doing, Russia regained its position of dominance in the Black Sea and isolated Ukraine, which could now be attacked from three fronts. This decisive countercoup was a hard blow to Washington, which reacted hurriedly and shortsightedly by escalating the Second Cold War and imposing economic sanctions on Russia. And although these sanctions hurt Russia, they also severely affected all countries of the European Union. Germany, in particular, had always done business with Russia. So when Angela Merkel approved the sanctions, she was going against her country’s economic and political interests.