The conflict over Ukrainian territory has already caused the deepest division between Russia and the West since the conclusion of the Cold War, and dashed hopes that post Soviet-Union Russia would become a Western-style capitalist democracy.
Meanwhile, the cease-fire seemed unlikely to persuade leaders gathering at the NATO conference in the U.K. to halt the expected announcement of further economic sanctions against Russian business outside of the country.
Impact of sanctions?
Nonetheless, international disapproval does not appear to have critically affected Russian actions so far -- possibly because of its near-one-note economy.
"What is Russia in terms of its global impact economically, in trade? It's an exporter of oil and primary metal products," Yukon Huang, former World Bank's country director for Russia, told CNBC.
"When you're exporting raw materials, you don't actually care much about your relationships with neighboring countries because your products are marketable elsewhere fairly easily. You're not dependent on open markets."