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White House: Russia No Longer A G8 Member

Members of the Group of Seven — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the U.S. — met Monday in the Netherlands where they issued The Hague Declaration, an official condemnation of Russia’s recent actions toward Ukraine and a resolution to expel Russia from the G8.

As a demonstration of the G7′s defense of Ukraine’s sovereign territorial integrity and independence, the member states condemned Russia for both its support of the Crimean referendum and its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. “We do not recognize either,” the G7 asserted.

Russia’s actions have been “inconsistent” with the Group’s “shared beliefs and shared responsibilities” and therefore warrant “significant consequences.” Those consequences include the decision by the G7 not to participate in the planned Sochi Summit in Russia and to immediately suspend the G8 “until Russia changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion.”

Per The Hague Declaration, member countries will for now meet in the G7 format and will hold its June Group meeting in Brussels.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov shrugged off the diplomatic censure. Speaking at a press conference in The Hague Monday, Lavrov said “The G8 is an informal club, no one gives out membership cards and no one can expel members… If our Western partners believe that this format has exhausted itself, let it be. We are not clinging to it.”

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