If sanctions related to Russia's annexation of Crimea intensify, Russia may speed efforts to boost its industrial and energy ties in Asia.
Europe has sanctioned Russian individuals in response to the Crimea crisis, but it confronts an inescapable fact when it comes to targeting Russia's natural gas and oil exports.
Reactions in the region have ranged from name calling to accusations of Russian meddling to observations of declining world powers.
Officials announced that Sunday's referendum showed 96.77 percent support to break away from Ukraine and join Russia – a tally that seems dubious.
Adm. James Stavridis added that serious financial sanctions on Russia should also be considered.
And the US knew that Russia was laying the ground to make a move on the strategically useful peninsula. Doing something about it is another matter.