The sanctions are not about democracy promotion in Russia, rather they aim to give a chance for a deeper democracy to take root and thrive in Ukraine, in tune with the popular demands expressed in 2013-2014. The sanctions do not seek to weaken Russia per se. Their reversibility shows that the main goal is to help Ukrainian statehood survive in the context of Russia’s military aggression. As the West has ruled out direct use of lethal means to protect Ukraine, the sanctions came to represent an efficient, low-cost tool to shelter Ukraine and constrain Russia’s power. It was pivotal that the West responded as it did in 2014. Had it delayed, the Russian aggression, unopposed, would have threatened not only Ukraine’s existence but some of its neighbours as well. In this case, the West would have been forced to design a response anyway, although one ultimately riskier and costlier.