A new Cold War seems to be imminent as sanctions and travel bans are placed on Russian officials by the United States and EU countries. The new sanctions are a reaction to the Russian-backed Crimean referendum on the question of Crimea's absorption into the Russian Federation. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor (97% for, 3% against) of Crimea joining Russia. While Putin has called the referendum in "full accordance with international law and the U.N. charter", the White House released a statement saying there will be further consequences for Russia's actions, "including their actions supporting the illegal referendum for Crimean separation."
Russia and the West remain at a standstill now, waiting for either side to intervene in Ukraine.