News / Europe

    G-7 Suspends Russia Over Ukraine

    Obama's Europe Trip Aimed at Isolating Russiai
    X
    Luis Ramirez
    March 24, 2014 9:20 PM
    The G-7 group of industrialized nations has suspended Russia for its attempts to annex Ukraine's Crimea region. At a meeting in The Hague Monday hosted by President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a nuclear summit, the group said it is ready to intensify sanctions if Russia does not change its behavior. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez is traveling with the president and has this report from The Hague.
    Luis Ramirez
    The Group of Seven industrialized nations has suspended Russia's membership, in response to its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. The action was called by U.S. President Barack Obama, who began a tour of Europe Monday in an effort to isolate Russia.
     
    President Obama's official purpose for coming to the Netherlands is to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, but Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula became the main focus.
     
    Shortly after arriving Monday, President Obama briefly toured Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum before speaking to reporters.
     
    “Europe and America are united in our support of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people. We’re united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far," said President Obama.

    Those words turned into actions on the sidelines of the nuclear summit later in the day, when Obama hosted an emergency meeting of G7 leaders. In a  joint statement after the meeting, the group condemned the Russian-sponsored referendum for Crimea to secede from Ukraine, and what it described as Russia's illegal attempts to annex the region.  The leaders said they are ready to intensify sanctions they already have imposed if Russia does not change course.  

    A senior U.S. official said continued aggression, including incursions into eastern and southern Ukraine, could trigger deeper sanctions against banking, defense and other key sectors of the Russian economy.  Concerns have mounted following reports that Russia is massing troops along the Ukrainian border.


    Earlier, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Russia's future in the G7 group is in doubt.  

    “We believe there's no reason for the G7 countries to engage with Russia going forward based on its behavior," said Rhodes.

    The leaders have cancelled their plans to hold an upcoming G8 meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, and will instead hold a G7 meeting - without Russia - in Brussels.

    That is where Obama heads next.  He will call on the EU and NATO to step up support for Ukraine's government.  

    President Obama also is looking beyond Europe for support in his effort to isolate Russia.  On the sidelines of the nuclear summit Monday, Obama met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Beijing has questioned Russia's actions in Ukraine. In a rare move, China last week abstained from a U.N. Security Council resolution declaring Crimea's Russian-sponsored secession referendum illegal.

    Going into Monday's meeting with Obama, President Xi noted the two leaders have stayed in close communication and have been in agreement on a number of important issues.
     
    A U.S. official said the Chinese leader affirmed that the principle of independence and sovereignty of nations is fundamental.  China wants to see a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but is not considering sanctions.
     
    The nuclear summit has brought together 53 nations to talk about global denuclearization. Although the focus has largely turned to Ukraine, there were some successes Monday in efforts to reduce nuclear stockpiles.
     
    U.S. and Japanese officials announced that Japan will hand over hundreds of kilograms of highly enriched uranium that it has held for decades.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Juli from: Pekanbaru City, Indonesia
    March 26, 2014 1:29 PM
    Hope can be better for Ukraine and crisis will be finished quickly.

    by: Anonymous
    March 25, 2014 12:50 PM
    Sending in an army to chop up a country WITHOUT any insignia showing the country they are from on uniforms does in fact show even more guilt that they are breaking laws. Why not proudly display the Russian insignia if they are proud to be Russian? Instead Putin made them rip their tags off so they could be sneaky and try and intimidate those they are invading.

    You don't just march into a country and chop it into pieces within days without the country having a vote. You don't take minorities only and create a vote to give them a country on land that is not yours OR theirs.

    This is most definately an act that should be punished by the highest extent of the law. There should be a warrant issued for Putin and a ban for him to fly anywhere in the world except to the Hague.

    by: Anonymous
    March 25, 2014 2:55 AM
    Correct me if Im wrong. Putin broke international law... Therefore an arrest warrant from interpol would be entirely suited for his criminal acts. Lets also get a warrant out there for assad too.
    In Response

    by: Sergey from: Russia
    March 25, 2014 3:00 PM
    to Anonymous: what do I think? you are ignorant - Crimeans voted to join Russia (97%) - that's the fact! no one killed and this referendum has been one of the most democratic events in the world over the last decades.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 25, 2014 12:54 PM
    Re: Sergey...
    I think it is time the west went in to Chechnya and made it into another country. What do you think? Great idea isn't it? No it isn't illegal, if this is your theory? Wouldn't that be wonderful for the Chechnyan people, they would love the west too.
    In Response

    by: Sergey from: Russia
    March 25, 2014 3:30 AM
    to Anonymous: correction - Putin did not break the law. Population of Crimea (to say it is an autonomous republic) hold the referendum and declared indipendence from Ukraine (similarly, US declared indipendence from GB) and then with 97% votes of Crimeans requested Russia to include the republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation. Russia has agreed whether you like it or not.

    by: Ruslan from: Russia
    March 25, 2014 1:18 AM
    what the aim of this decision? US and EU do not hear us, do not want to recognize their mistakes.... as a result we will not stop supporting our president and our people in Crimea but as a consequence we will stop considering the west as our partner and will start seeking allies btwn other countries...will this stabilize the situation? the answer is obvious

    by: S from: Rissia
    March 25, 2014 1:11 AM
    Who are you to punish us!? Are you the whole world!? That is not the case! You’d better stop talking with us that way! Even for me who doesn’t support Putin’s course that kind of treatment is very offensive.
    And, please, look at the facts: there are no victims of «Crimean war»! And no demonstration against the fact that Crimea have became the part of Russia. Within Crimea, of course!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 25, 2014 2:59 AM
    The world will punish putin. Of course it affects the Russian population. Putin should not be representing the Russian people. Any Russians I know cant stand him. I suggest the Russian people take to the streets or do whatever the law states to oust him. Only then will Russia prosper without being penalized by the world.

    by: Anonymous
    March 24, 2014 7:51 PM
    This is EXCELLENT news. We the world will not allow Russia to commit crimes without paying the consequences. Lets make him responsible for his crimes and lets make assad as well. We wont put up with war crimes this day and age. A serious blow to Assad is next I hope. Teach these people to be responsible for their actions.

    by: wingman from: USA
    March 24, 2014 6:02 PM
    Sad thing about this, is that they agreed to give up their nukes with the condition that WE protect them...

    by: sharky from: CANADA
    March 24, 2014 1:31 PM
    How much is the Ukraine supose to take untill the somone steps in and pushes back. Russia is in violation of the nucluar disarmlement treaty. As well how can a country just take a sub, naval base, airforce base?

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    March 24, 2014 12:21 PM
    Yeah, why not! Keep raising their hope. What really is the cost going to mean for Ukraine, create another Crimea? What is the use of telling a dead person that the murderer is growing lean? What good does the news of western sanction on Moscow serve Ukraine if it does not remove the loot from Kremlin? Let's not waste time on rhetoric. Crimea is gone, and the blame goes to the West for fomenting the trouble that led to the loss. Let's see what the West is doing in the light of what it is and stop wrongly apportioning blame to Russia. The west must learn to allow countries do their own things. Starting a land sharing race in Ukraine and elsewhere can only lead to more troubles in the world. Who is running the contest with the West for which it is in such a hurry to claim every corner of the earth for itself? Surely not Russia which only gets stirred to protect its people when they are in danger of being misplaced by yet another scramble for and partition of eastern Europe, even as it did to African in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    All this noise may be about Obama's desire to use the opportunity to divert Europe from Russia gas to US shale gas. Also it shows how weak and gullible the rest of the world leaders can be in the face of intimidation from a formidable Europe backed by USA. Thus China can easily cave in even though it wishes to behave otherwise. But Russia has said it will not budge on this pressure. I hope this is in keeping with the Russian motto of using MORE force, and I know more and more force will continued to be applied until it reaches the turn of military force. Then there will be no going back for anyone. One ace Russia has yet to play is put its attendance to the nuclear summit on a balance. Certainly the West will immediately go on their knees to bring it to the table if it attempts to absent from the nuclear discussion. However, and maybe, there is something it wants to achieve diplomatically with USA particularly - maybe remind Kerry and Obama to balance their account with Russia for previous favors done them for their country.
    In Response

    by: RachaelBenny from: Nigeria
    March 25, 2014 1:24 AM
    Godwin or whatever you call yourself,from comment it shows that you are ignorant of the true cause of the present situation in Ukrian.Please find out,ask questions and you will understand the evil Putin has done.This is not about America orEurope.

    by: crouz from: Tokio
    March 24, 2014 12:04 PM
    Russia must be punished! It reminds me a fascist country. Don't trade with Russia and don't buy its oil and gas!!!
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    March 24, 2014 2:58 PM
    ^ Regarding his reply, don't change the subject, it doesn't change the facts. Yes most definately Russia needs to be punished on all fronts, noone should do business so long as Putin is in power making reckless decisions for the Russian population. He deserves to be ousted for his behaviour since taking office.
    In Response

    by: Unknown
    March 24, 2014 1:16 PM
    Please try to see an evident truth that every russian can see. President Obama doesn't want to see this truth also! Putin didn't want to kill Ukrainian soldiers!!! And every Ukrainian soldier saved his live! Every soldiers!!! The Ukrainian soldiers are not guilty that politics can't come agreement! How many US soldiers were killed in aggressive wars in IRAQ or in Afghanistan? How many local inhabitants were killed by US soldiers? If you have conscience please KEEP SILENS. Please remember the victims in IRAQ and in Afghanistan and stand up on 1 minute. It would be more honestly then to repeat the lie of politics.

    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora