Leaders of the world taking off in a new direction
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
As of March 24, the G8 has been temporarily reduced to seven following the suspension of Russia. Due to Russia’s continuing issues with Crimea, world leaders voted on what could be presented as a warning. In addition, the 2014 G8 summit, which was to be held in Sochi in June, has been moved to Brussels.
The ousting of Russia is a direct result of the country’s role in the overtaking of the Crimean peninsula, which has been part of Ukraine for over 50 years. After the vote to remove Russia from the G8, the White House released a statement:
“International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state’s territory through coercion or force. To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built.” The statement went on to say that the US, “[condemns] the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine’s constitution.”
General public reaction in Russia towards the vote appears to be that of disregard. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in a public announcement, “G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone. All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20, and G8 has the purpose of existence as the forum of dialogue between the leading Western countries and Russia.”
Lavrov went on to say that, “we don’t see a great misfortune.”
Despite being removed from the G8, Russia was only added in 1998 by the other nations; compared to the others in the G8, Russia was the newcomer.
The US and other western nations have taken to utilizing their soft power resources to inflict damage to Russia during the crisis in Ukraine. The US and other nations have begun to prepare possible economic sanctions upon for Russia. Democratic and Republican lawmakers are also voicing their desires to provide light arms to the Ukrainian resistance forces. Reports have said that as many as 20,000 Russian military personnel are stationed along the Ukrainian border ready to invade at Putin’s notice.
Efforts to isolate and weaken Russia are mounting as the world continues to cry foul at Russia’s tactics in the Crimean peninsula. With its seat in the G8 suspended and possible sanctions on the horizon, time will tell what the pressure will do to President Putin and his political allies.