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The seven nations have also withdrawn from a G8 meeting that had been planned to take place in Sochi in June, said the statement issued after a G7 summit in The Hague.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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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