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Russia, the OSCE, and EU Travel Sanctions
The covert deployment of the Russian military in Crimea last year, originally repudiated by Moscow, preceded the formal annexation of the territory on March 18, 2014 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The international response was immediate and wide-ranging. It included such punitive measures as targeted U.S. and European Union (EU) sanctions against several dozen top Russian officials, along with less tangible punishments, like the suspension of Russia’s membership in the G8. Moscow does not appear eager to re-instate its membership. Although Moscow claims that the economic sanctions have to date inflicted only “psychological, not tangible” damage, targeted EU travel restrictions against top Russian officials have proven to be more problematic for the Kremlin.