This was announced by U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview to Nastoiashchee Vremia TV channel, Censor.NET reports citing Radio Svoboda.
Volker said the issue of Crimea is no different from the issue of the Donbas: it's the territory that has been seized and occupied. In Crimea, Russia said it annexed the territory, and this is unacceptable, Volker said. No one can come and grab a region of another country, he said. So none of Russia's steps in Crimea and Ukraine can be recognized as legitimate, Volker said.
Volker added that every time when Russians ask for lifting sanctions, this means there is a reason they want it, so it means something for Russia. If current sanctions are inefficient, it's not the reason to change the course, but a reason to think of another way to get to a point where the issues can be solved, he said.
Volker believes that to stop the conflict in the east of Ukraine, more sanctions are needed.