BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — In March 2014, 96 percent of Crimean residents who voted in a referendum on seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia backed the move. The Kiev government and Western countries have not recognized the legitimacy of the vote, imposing several rounds of sanctions on Russia over what they label the "annexation" of Crimea.
"The European Union remains committed to fully implementing its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures. The EU calls again on UN Member States to consider similar non-recognition measures in line with the UNGA Resolution 68/262 [on the Territorial Integrity of Ukraine]," the statement reads.
The Western sanctions against Russia target whole sections of the Russian economy, including the banking, energy and defense sectors.