France Says Russia Suspended from G8, Other Countries Dispute Claim
by Mary Chastain 18 Mar 2014, 1:17 PM PDT
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told radio station Europe 1 the G8 decided to suspend Russia from the forum, but the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan said no agreement was made. “As for G8, we decided to suspend Russia’s membership,” Fabius said live on radio station Europe 1. “All seven leading world powers, except Russia, are expected to meet,” he added.
Meanwhile the Moscow Times, quoting the Associated Press, claimed otherwise:
“The G7 collectively made clear last week that we would take further action should the Russian Federation seek to annex Crimea”, the British Foreign Office said in a statement, adding that any decision regarding Russia's membership has yet to be made, The Associated Press reported.
The G8 countries, a group of the most industrialized countries in the world, are scheduled to meet in Sochi, Russia, in June. Due to Russia’s occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, the countries decided to halt all preparatory meetings. Canada completely pulled out of the meeting and recalled its Moscow ambassador. President Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin several times the US will boycott the summit if Russia continued to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.
On Monday, the US and European Union imposed many visa bans and asset sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials. Putin fired back with threats of sanctions against US politicians and Obama officials.