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The Hague, Netherlands (CNN) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have decided to end Russia's role in the group of leading industrialized nations, the White House said Monday.
The move to suspend Russia's membership in the G8 is the latest direct response from major countries allied against Russia's annexation of Crimea.
"International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state's territory through coercion or force," the statement said. "To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine's constitution.
"We also strongly condemn Russia's illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations."
Earlier in the day, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said being kicked out of G8 would be no big deal.
"G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone," he said during a news conference. " All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20, and G8 has the purpose of existence as the forum of dialogue between the leading Western countries and Russia.
"If our Western partners believe that this organizational format has outlived, so be it. At least, we are not attached to this format and we don't see a great misfortune if it will not gather. Maybe, for a year or two, it will be an experiment for us to see how we live without it."
In a nod to political and economic reforms, the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and Italy added Russia to their group in 1998 -- transforming it from the G7 to the G8.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed to CNN that a group summit initially planned for June in Sochi, Russia, where the Winter Olympics were just held, is now off.
I fear they are damaging each others national interests to a point where War will be inevitable
Did anybody expect this not to happen?
It was them way before Russia was ever invited/involved.
“The G8 is an informal club, no one gives out membership cards and no one can expel members,” Lavrov told a media conference at the Hague. “If our Western partners believe that this format has exhausted itself, let it be. We are not clinging to it.”
He went on to say that many believe that the G8 has already fulfilled its mission as many issues are now discussed at the G20 forum.
“Generally speaking, there are also other formats for considering many questions, including the UN Security Council, the Middle East Quartet and the P5+1 on the Iranian nuclear problem,” Lavrov told journalists.
Could seizing a country by Russia actually be a behind the scenes deal by the two leaders in order to start a "new" cold war? Perhaps an attempt to kick start the economies.....or "take it back to the good old days" ...................... but without a fight.
My thoughts precisely!
Ughh, when will the powers in the West just let it go.
This is getting beyond ridiculous and is absolute hypocrisy from the USA. Need I mention the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as many others that were started with the help of or directly by the USA that Russia vehemently opposed.....
There were very few sanctions and fallouts from Russian toward us over those moves. Russia has taken Crimea in an almost bloodless move and we are screaming bloody murder.
Dumbedit on 24-3-2014 by markosity1973 because: (no reason given)
Slayer, right now, nothing surprises me when it comes to my Govt. (USA) doing highly questionable things... I just have to wonder when they will all hit their tipping points...
Ukraine owes Russia $11b after collapse of 2010 deal, Russian Prime Minsiter Dmitry Medvedev says to President Vladimir Putin at Security Council meeting, according to transcript on Kremlin website.
Medvedev adds $3b Ukraine bonds bought in Dec., ~$2b debt to Gazprom for natgas supplies
NOTE: In 2010, Russia agreed to sell natgas at discount in exchange for extending lease to Black Sea naval port of Sevastopol in Crimea to 2042 from 2017