The Crimean referendum came and went today, with the peninsula’s voters calling overwhelmingly for accession into the Russian Federation. The vote and results sparked angry condemnation from the US.
The White House insisted the referendum was “contrary to Ukraine’s constitution,” and said the international community would never recognize the results.
That’s somewhat beside the point in this case, since Crimea isn’t intended to stay independent, and whether or not the US recognizes it as part of Russia’s federation likely won’t amount to much.
US officials went on shaking their fists about the result and threatening imminent sanctions against Russia, saying they would make Russia “pay an increasing price” for allowing the vote to take place. The sanctions, assuming they happen at all, are likely to center around Europe, since the US doesn’t have much trade with Russia to begin with.