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Russia Suspended From G8

Published: March 26, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • The G7 sent a clear message that Russia is unwelcome at the table over its action in Ukraine.
    Photo: Pablo Martinez Momsivais

Russias membership to the Group of Eight has been suspended over Moscows annexation of Crimea and its interference in Ukraine, the Group of Seven leading industrial nations said in a statement.

This Group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russias actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them, the leaders of the U.S., Canada, Japan and Europes four strongest economies said in a statement published Monday on the White House website.

The seven nations have also withdrawn from a G8 meeting that had been planned to take place in Sochi in June, said the statement issued after a G7 summit in The Hague.

International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another states territory through coercion or force, the statement said. To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraines constitution.

We also strongly condemn Russias illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations. We do not recognize either, the statement added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit at The Hague, brushed off his countrys exclusion from the group of leading industrialized nations.

If our Western partners believe that this format has exhausted itself, then thats the way it is going to be. We dont cling to it, Lavrov said, Itar-Tass reported.

He also said that Moscow did not care if the West did not believe that Russia supposedly had no plans to advance further into Ukrainian territory, or that the annexation of Crimea was needed to protect ethnic Russians on the peninsula.

We are not forcing anyone to believe us, Lavrov said, adding that Moscow did not believe the West either.

We believed our Western partners for a very long time, starting with the collapse of the Soviet Union, when all kinds of promises were made both orally and in writing, and in the form of political obligations at the highest level. So we can imagine the approximate value of the promises from our Western partners, he said.

He also reiterated Moscows statements that the dispatch of troops to Crimea and the subsequent annexation was intended to prevent bloodshed.

Following the deployment of Russian troops in Crimea, at least two Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has said. An activist from the Crimean Tatar community has also been found dead, with marks of torture on his body, and several journalists have reportedly been beaten.

The G7 statement said that its leaders remind Russia of its international obligations, and its responsibilities.

Russia has a clear choice to make. Diplomatic avenues to de-escalate the situation remain open, and we encourage the Russian government to take them, it said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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