Russia out of G8 Group; G7 venue changed to Brussels

Meeting in The Hague came as Ukraine ordered its outnumbered troops to withdraw

The Hague: President Barack Obama and top economic powers on Monday cancelled an upcoming G8 summit in Russia, seeking to deepen Moscow’s isolation over its intervention in the Ukraine crisis.

After emergency talks called by Obama, it was announced that the G8 summit in Sochi in June would be replaced by a G7 meeting in Brussels, without Russian involvement.

The G7 also threatened tougher sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea, which has plunged relations between the West and Moscow to their lowest point since the Cold War.

The meeting in The Hague came as Ukraine ordered its outnumbered troops to withdraw from Crimea as yet another of its bases was stormed.
Earlier, the White House had said it was “very concerned” by the Russian troop build-up on the border.

“We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation,” the G7 leaders said in a statement.

The G7 “came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them, the White House statement said.

Russia unfazed by G8 removal move

Russia said on Tuesday its suspension from the G8 was counterproductive as Ukraine pulled more troops out of Crimea, effectively acknowledging defeat following Moscow’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula. “When it comes to contacts with the G8 countries, we are ready for them, we have an interest in them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the - ITAR-TASS news agency.

( Source : AFP )
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