Russia suspended from G-8, France announces
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G-8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in June in Sochi. REUTERS photoFrance’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius has said that leaders of the Group of Eight world powers have suspended Russia’s participation in the club amid tensions over Ukraine and Russia’s incursion into Crimea.
The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G-8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in June in Sochi.
Fabius went further on March 18, saying on Europe-1 radio that "concerning the G-8 ... we decided to suspend Russia’s participation, and it is envisaged that all the other countries, the seven leading countries, will unite without Russia."
Fabius, who did not give further details, added that Russian President Vladimir Putin is still invited to D-day commemorations in France on June 6 despite the crisis. "President Putin has been invited ... and for the moment he remains invited," Fabius said on Europe 1 radio.
"We thought it would be ill-timed, in particular since Mr Putin is due to deliver a speech in the Duma this morning in which he is likely to announce the annexation of Crimea," Fabius said.
A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman confirmed the talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had been cancelled, saying she was not aware of the reason.
The U.S. and European Union on Tuesday announced new sanctions against Russia over its actions in the Crimean Peninsula.