Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, meets with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia at the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, March 24, 2014. Nuclear terrorism is officially the main topic for world leaders at a two-day summit in the Netherlands, in practice, the Ukraine crisis overshadows those talks. (AP Photo)
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Seeking to isolate Russia, the U.S. and Western allies declared Monday they are indefinitely cutting Moscow out of a major international coalition and warned they stand ready to order tougher economic penalties if Vladimir Putin presses further into Ukraine.
The moves came amid a flurry of diplomatic jockeying as the West grappled for ways to punish Russia for its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and prevent the crisis from escalating.
President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan met in the Netherlands for an emergency meeting of the Group of Seven. In a joint statement after their 90-minute meeting, the leaders said they were suspending their participation with Russia in the Group of Eight major industrial nations until Moscow “changes course.”
The G-7 leaders instead plan to meet this summer in Brussels, symbolically gathering in the headquarters city of the European Union and NATO, two Western organizations that have sought to bolster ties with Ukraine.
“Today, we reaffirm that Russia’s actions will have significant consequences,” the leaders’ statement said. “This clear violation of international law is a serious challenge to the rule of law around the world and should be a concern for all nations.”
In an unexpected development, Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov met separately in The Hague with his Ukrainian counterpart, the highest level of Login to read more