An estimate of “toxic” economic presence from Russia in the US and EU has significantly changed in 2017. Shock of western societies from actions of Kremlin in Crimea in 2014 led to sanctions regime, halt to big deals (such as on sale of French warship Mistral) and downturn to trade volumes between European Union and Russian Federation by 50% in 2014-16. During this period some European industrial entities and politicians while criticizing annexation publicly spoke about ineffectiveness of sanctions. Most prominent voices came from Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
This led then Vice President Joe Biden to say in September 2016 that five EU countries are not firm in their stance on sanctions. But events linked to electoral campaign of Donald Trump led to a radical change of situation. Throughout 2017 a completely new background for perceptions of Kremlin on global stage was formed in the West.