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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: meanbill from: USA
March 24, 2014 11:27 AM
CRAZY isn't it? .. WHAT did Russia gain from winning the 2014 Crimean war, that never happened?
A Black Sea Fleet Base for life, and 100 million dollars a year in rent they had to pay Ukraine, and they can put that 100 million dollars back in the Crimean economy, can't they? .. (World Prestige?) ...... REALLY
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 24, 2014 7:53 PM
I would bet that 100mil now goes in to putins pocket.

by: meanbill from: USA
March 24, 2014 11:18 AM
THE 2014 CRIMEA WAR, (that never happened?)
The 2014 Crimea war was fought in the western news media, between the US, EU, and Ukraine coup leaders, repeating endless nonsensical theories on what could or would happen in Crimea, if they seceded from Ukraine .. (AND THEN?) .. hilariously imagining that the little green men rushing to defend Crimea, (because of the news media stories), were Russian troops invading Crimea..
IT'S HILARIOUS .. Putin and Russia didn't do a single thing in Crimea .. (BUT?) .. the western news media falsely reported that Russian troops had taken control of Crimea, when in fact it was the Crimean's themselves who took over the government and formed their own defense forces...
CRAZY isn't it? .. The whole 2014 Crimean war was fought and lost in the news media only .. (AND?) .. the Russians won the 2014 Crimean war by doing nothing at all, but watching all the crazy things said and done by the US, EU, Ukraine coup leaders, and the western news media? ........ REALLY
In Response

by: Occupant of Earth from: Earth
March 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Russians invaded their long-time friend and took their land and military bases. Ukraine showed amazing restraint. The whole world should be united in punishing Russia. The allies of the failed country Russia should be even more worried, at least the "West" knows we cannot trust the Russian government.

by: Joe
March 24, 2014 10:37 AM
What cost will Russia "suffer"? They will continue to annex further and shall not be deterred by the West unless the cost is really meaningful and can be measured against their economy.

by: Pianoeman2001 from: New York City
March 24, 2014 9:12 AM
You post Sony Tran's comment and not mine? This should be called "The Voice of Communism", NOT "The Voice of America". I will tell everyone i know about this and tell people to boycott you on facebook.

by: Sony Tran from: Australia
March 24, 2014 4:55 AM
German are the most materialistic and self proud people.They only do what they think benefit them most. Why no one wonder, for what reason Germany is the most vocal critic of US when NSA scandal broke out ? Why Germany quite often opposes US foreign policy ?

Regarding Ukraine crisis.I have my own appraisal as follows:
Ukraine was a victim of Germany and Russia conspiracies and naively supported by US and 27 other EU members as the events have unfolded exactly as their clandestine plan .That’s to divide Ukraine into two parts, Russia will dominate Eastern part of Ukraine militarily and Germany will dominate Western part of Ukraine economically. Besides, Russia and Germany have also planned to redraw European political map in which Germany would dominate EU economically and Russia would dominate militarily and politically to counter US influence on the whole European continent.

The evidence is that Germany was in the front row to back Ukraine protesters to topple Yunakovich swiftly that has created a pretext for Russia to invade Crimea. Then Germany is the first one who has quickly disappeared from the scene when Russia has invaded Crimea. Now it comes back to the front row with rattled but empty rhetoric after Russia has annexed Crimea. Recently, Germany has shown its dislike and irritant to US much stronger than to Russia although East Germany was brutally ruled by USSR for over six decades, and the magic reborn of war torn west Germany mostly relies on US Marshall plan.

USA of Obama has made a fatal mistake when he thought he can tame the wild polar bear and unites EU continent simultenously.But Obama administration has proved that it has continuously failed its foreign policy since Obama elected in 2009. Worse still, if Putin can survive US and EU symbolic sanctions this time and UK people do vote to leave EU in 2017.For sure Germany might also leave EU and even Nato Then the worst scenerio that EU and Nato might also be dissolved quickly after that because other members found out that US is no longer a reliable partner, protector And a confident Germany would dominate EU economically and politically .By then EU countries would return to pre-WWII status and all of them includes UK and France will be most vulnerable to Germany economic pressure and Russia military pressure.They all become a herd of sheeps in the eyes of the 4th Reich and the 3rd Tsar.

Obama administration appeared to be the WEAKEST administration of USA history since WW II .And Obama himself has become a laughing stock in the eyes Russian politicians in the current Crimea crisis . US, UK and France superpower status obviously have been declining day by day because these governemnts have been held hostage by their capitalist vampires as well as the collision between Governments' populism policies and their capitalist elites.
In Response

by: Jim Miller from: Virginia
March 26, 2014 8:33 AM
Historically, the Russian people are a servile group. Under the Tsars, they were a serf population. This continued under 75 years of Bolshevism. Things have not changed much since the end of the Cold War. From a social and cultural perspective, the Russian people are evolutionarily stunted, they have not developed the ability, need, or understanding to think individually.

They are a people who must be told what to think. Democracy cannot be forced on a population. It has to emerge and progress on its own. Do not be surprised when the Russian people strike out because of their possession of a collective bruised ego. Whether it be people ranting on an online blog about not being respected or in the form of nation state actions, as Putin's in Crimea, the same dynamic is at play. As noted, the Russian people are a servile bunch and we need to keep that in mind.
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs