France’s foreign minister says 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 G8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in June in Sochi.
France’s Laurent Fabius went further today, saying on Europe-1 radio that “concerning the G8 … we decided to suspend Russia’s participati ..
Will retaliate against EU sanctions: Russia
Russia sharply criticised the European Union on Tuesday for imposing sanctions on Russian officials and lawmakers involved in efforts to make Crimea part of Russia, and said it will retaliate.
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“Attempts to speak to Russia in the language of force and threaten Russian citizens with sanctions will lead nowhere,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The adoption of restrictive measures is not our choice; however, it is clear that the imposition of sanctions against us will not go without an adequate response from the Russian side.”
Ukraine does not recognise treaty
Ukraine does not recognise a treaty signed in Moscow on Tuesday making its Crimean peninsula a part of Russia, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said.
“The signing of the so-called agreement on Crimea joining the Russian Federation and the corresponding address by the Russian president has nothing in common with law or democracy or common sense,” ministry spokesman Evhen Perebynis said on Twitter.
“Putin’s address very clearly demonstrates just how real the threat is that Russia poses to international security and international security,” he said.
Putin has chosen path to Russia’s isolation: Britain
President Vladimir Putin has chosen the path to Russia’s isolation by moving to annex Ukraine’s Crimea region, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.
“It was regrettable to hear President Putin choosing the route of isolation, denying the citizens of his own country, and of Crimea, partnership with the international community and full membership of a range of international organisations,” Hague said in a statement to parliament.
Hague also said there was grave danger that a provocation elsewhere in Ukraine could be used as a pretext for a further military escalation. He said that it was highly likely that other G8 countries would now want to meet without Russia.
(With inputs from Reuters, AP)