News / Europe

    G-7 Suspends Russia Over Ukraine

    Obama's Europe Trip Aimed at Isolating Russiai
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    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.

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    Comments page of 2
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    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.
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