The European Parliament adopted, on March 13, a resolution on "the invasion of Ukraine by Russia". [1] Therein, it reiterates its support to the coup-imposed government in Kiev while denouncing the illegitimacy of the new authorities of Crimea. It labels as defamatory the "Russian propaganda" allegations according to which the protesters in Kiev are fascist (sic). It furthermore denounces the invasion by Russian troops, in violation of international law (re-sic).

The United States submitted, on the evening of March 13, a draft resolution to the Security Council stating that the self-determination referendum in the Crimea "has no validity." Unlike their previous statements, the US no longer claim that it is contrary to international law (the ballot is not an act of aggression on the part of Russia and the Russian army has not invaded the Crimea), but only to the Ukrainian Constitution, even though they recognize a government that seized power by trampling on it.

The U.S. Congress has postponed the vote on sanctions to March 24, as well as the one dealing with the $ 1 billion loan to Ukraine. This last measure has been subordinated by President Obama to a reform of the IMF, which is predestined to benefit Russia in the long term.

A group of about 150 Cossacks have moved into Sebastopol. The Cossacks are Russian paramilitary fighters who are traditionally dedicated to the defence of the Russian people. They are volunteers and independent from the political authorities of Russia.

The U.S. and Russian Foreign Affairs Ministers met in London on 14 March to discuss the referendum in the Crimea. The occasion marked a shift in the rhetoric of NATO members: the emphasis was no longer laid on the "crisis between Russia and the West", but "between Russia and the Ukraine." This semantic swerve seems to indicate that there will be no significant NATO reaction to the self-determination of the Crimea.

John Kerry was accompanied by Victoria Nuland (his assistant for Ukraine), Karen Donfried (NSC senior director for European affairs) and Vice-Admiral Kurt Tidd (in charge of "special operations", in this case providing intelligence on the movement of Russian troops).

Kerry requested:
 the creation of a contact group on Ukraine;
 the withdrawal of "supplementary para-military forces" from Crimea
 the presence of international observers;
 the opening of negotiations between Russia and the new government in Kiev;
 an end to the backing of separatist forces in the Crimea.

Lavrov called for the implementation of the 21 February Agreement [2], namely:
 the transition from a presidential system to a parliamentary system;
 a Council of Europe commission to investigate all acts of violence;
 the surrender of illegal weapons;
 the formation of a national unity government.

22 States have pledged to send observers to oversee the self-determination referendum of 16 March. [3] Although Crimea has invited the OSCE, the latter has not yet responded to the invitation; meanwhile its military observers, appointed by the government of Kiev, were denied entry to the Crimea.

Russia is examining ways of supplying Crimea with water, gas and electricity. These commodities are currently being provided by Ukraine via the province of Kherson, which has forged an alliance with Kiev and could turn off the faucet as of March 17.

European experts have compiled a list of about 120 senior officials and Russian businessmen who could be sanctioned by the European Council, meeting on 17 March. These individuals could be banned from entering the EU and their assets frozen.

[1European Parliament resolution on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia”, Voltaire Network, 13 March 2014.

[2Agreement on the Settlement of Crisis in Ukraine”, Voltaire Network, 21 February 2014.