Five years ago, the European Union (EU) introduced different types of “restrictive measures”, reacting to the Russian annexation of Crimea of March 21st 2014. The destabilization of the Donbas in Eastern Ukraine started immediately after. Five years later, the European Council agreed on the latest extension of the economic sanctions, until 31st January 2020.
The EU has periodically reviewed, strengthened where necessary and kept sanctions in place, while waiting for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. At the same time, it also seems to be protagonist of a hybrid diplomacy, repeatedly stating “we are deeply concerned” for Ukraine while avoiding settling on a clear ‘red-line’ for Russia.