The Group of Eight (G8) forum, a coalition of the eight leading industrialized countries, is now the Group of Eight-minus-One. Russia, the last nation to join the former G7 in 1998, is on the outs again — the group has expelled the Slavic nation over its recent military and political maneuvers in Crimea, placing the existence of the entire forum in question. Russian president Vladimir Putin and his followers are shrugging off what many are characterizing as a major geopolitical shift.
American president Barack Obama traveled to The Netherlands today for a nuclear security summit, telling reporters that the US and its European allies are “united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far.”
Russian Federation foreign minister Sergey Lavrov stated that being expelled from the G8 “would be no big deal.” He went on to say, “[the] G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone.” Lavrov believes that this separation from the leading countries is actually what Russia needs at the moment in order to become a stronger nation.
“If our Western partners believe that this organizational format has outlived, so be it. At least, we are not attached to this format and we don’t see a great misfortune if it will not gather. Maybe, for a year or two, it will be an experiment for us to see how we live without it.”
Insiders say that British prime minister David Cameron has officially confirmed that the annual G8 summit, to have been held in Sochi in June, is now off. The remaining nations under the G8 have agreed to try to put a stop to Russian expansion into Crimea and possibly Ukraine, and completely hold Putin responsible for his actions so far.
Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes stated, “Our view is simply that if Russia is flagrantly violating international law and the order that the G7 has hoped to build since the end of the Cold War, there’s no need to engage with Russia.”
Obama has announced that a military invasion in Ukraine is out of the question thus far — however, he did warn that the US would zero in on main sectors of Moscow’s economy if the Crimea crisis continues. Since then, Lavrov has met with secretary of state John Kerry, and sternly said that Russia’s actions in Crimea are strongly needed in order to protect the Russian citizens of that peninsula. The Russian president’s next moves are not clear yet, but it looks like he might move in on Crimea — without a care in the world about Moscow’s isolation.