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Russia suspended from G8 over Ukraine crisis

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The G7 group of top economic powers have kicked out Russia from the powerful G8 over its annexation of Crimea and threatened to impose far-reaching sanctions if Moscow continued its incursion into Ukraine.

The US and six other economic powers also scrapped the G8 summit to be hosted by Russia in Sochi in June to build pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin against his military action in Ukraine.

At an emergency summit in The Hague on Monday, the leaders of the US, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan cancelled the planned G8 summit and decided to convene without Russia in Brussels.

“We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russia changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion and will meet again in G-7 format at the same time as planned, in June 2014, in Brussels, to discuss the broad agenda we have together,” the G-7 countries said in a joint statement.

“We have also advised our Foreign Ministers not to attend the April meeting in Moscow. In addition, we have decided that G-7 Energy Ministers will meet to discuss ways to strengthen our collective energy security,” the statement said.

“We’ve already imposed a cost on Russia in the sanctions that we’ve issued in coordination with Europe, Canada, and Japan as well. “But importantly, the G7 made clear that they’re ready to intensify actions, including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy if Russia continues to escalate the situation,” a senior Obama administration official said.

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