France 'suspends' preparatory work for Sochi G8: presidency
PARIS / OTTAWA - Agence France-Presse
French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius leaves the Elysee palace. AFP PhotoFrance Sunday decided to "suspend" its participation in preparatory meetings for the June G8 meeting in Sochi in protest over the Ukraine crisis, a source within the French presidency said.
"We have suspended our participation in the preparatory meetings taking place in the coming days," said the source, adding that this decision had been taken at a "crisis meeting" between President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
His comments came after President Vladimir Putin obtained the green light from parliament on Saturday to use military force in its neighbour Ukraine.
A G8 summit is currently due to be held in Sochi in June. The United States and Canada have already stated they may not take part in response to the Russian military intervention.
Canada threatens to withdraw from G8 summit
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper threatened Saturday he may join Washington in snubbing June's G8 summit in Russia over the country's military incursion into Ukraine, and recalled his ambassador to Moscow.
"We join our allies in condemning in the strongest terms President Putin's military intervention in Ukraine," Harper said in a statement.
"These actions are a clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are also in violation of Russia's obligations under international law."
"Canada recognizes the legitimacy of the government of Ukraine. Ukraine's sovereign territory must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future," Harper added.
"We call on President Putin to immediately withdraw his forces to their bases and refrain from further provocative and dangerous actions."
He said "Canada has suspended its engagement in preparations for the G8 summit, currently planned for Sochi, and the Canadian ambassador in Moscow is being recalled for consultations."