Thursday, June 5, 2014

Russia Missing From G8 Summit. Now G7

President Obama with other Group of 7 leaders on Thursday in Brussels.
The leaders of seven major powers on Thursday convened their first summit meeting without Russia in two decades, a stark reflection of the international strains brought on by the crisis in Ukraine.

President Obama joined his peers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan at the headquarters of the European Council here to discuss energy, development, climate change and economic matters. They met under the name Group of 7, rather than Group of 8, for the first time since the mid-1990s. And along the way, they discussed the member they have kicked out of their club, at least for now.
After a long dinner Wednesday night in advance of the formal meeting, the seven leaders released a joint statement repeating their condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and calling on Moscow to use its influence to stop the pro-Russian separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine. They were less clear about their own intended actions.
“We are united in condemning the Russian Federation’s continuing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the joint statement said. “Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to destabilize eastern Ukraine are unacceptable and must stop. These actions violate fundamental principles of international law and should be a concern for all nations.”
The statement went on to say: “We urge the Russian Federation to recognize the results of the election, complete the withdrawal of its military forces on the border with Ukraine, stop the flow of weapons and militants across the border and to exercise its influence among armed separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence.”

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