Sanctions were finally imposed on members of Russia’s elite and their business entities in April, after 13 Russians were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for “malicious cyber-enabled activities” in March.
Also in March, following the poisoning of former KGB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the U.K., the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the U.S., although reports indicated he was not happy with the move.
In early July, Trump seemed to challenge the long-held U.S. policy of refusing to recognize Moscow’s Crimea annexation, saying only in response to questions on the issue: “We’ll see.” He also reportedly argued to officials at June’s G-7 summit that Crimea should belong to Russia because “everyone there speaks Russian.”
This would fly in the face of a recent official White House statement by press secretary Sarah Sanders, who said on July 2: "We do not recognize Russia's attempt to annex Crimea. We agree to disagree with Russia on that front. And our Crimea sanctions against Russia will remain in place until Russia returns the peninsula to the Ukraine."