I’ve seen several news articles on this, describing how the Crimea region basically is part of Russia…it was only handed over administratively to Ukraine as a gift. It would be like if the USA and Canada were part of the same empire, and we loaned Alaska to Canada. After the “breakup”, Canada wants to go shack up with another empire, and we want our Alaska back. The overwhelming majority of people in Alaska see themselves as “Americans” and are completely for this.
So why is the UN bleating about this matter? “International Law” is just an arbitrary list of rules the powerful and wealthy members of the UN made up after WWII. It has no teeth and questionable legitimacy.
Any real economic sanctions would involve ceasing the sales of natural gas and oil to Europe…which would presumably screw over the EU about as much as it hurts Russia.
Also, China wouldn’t go along with the sanctions, and this would probably lower the price of the gas sold to China, giving them an even bigger economic advantage than they have already.