World leaders, including US President Barak Obama, have agreed to give Russia the boot, sort of. The world leaders cannot technically kick Russia out of the G8 so instead they all agreed to suspend their own participation in the G8 and will instead proceed without Russia in a G7 format.
“This Group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them. Under these circumstances, we will not participate in the planned Sochi Summit. We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russia changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion and will meet again in G-7 format at the same time as planned, in June 2014, in Brussels, to discuss the broad agenda we have together,” the group said in a statement.
The group of world leaders, meeting in Hague, have also re-emphasized that they do not recognize Russia’s taking over of Crimea.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, make up the G8. The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission also participate and are included but cannot host summits nor can they assume the presidency. The Presidency of the G8 rotates among the countries. France enjoyed the presidency in 2011, followed by the US in 2012, and the UK last year. This year Russia was expected to host the G8 in Sochi. Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada are next in line to hold the presidency respectively.
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