Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for the exclusion of Russia from the G8 because of its military incursion into Ukraine, according to ABC News, Mar. 2, 2014. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on the program "Sunday Morning" today, Kerry said that the Russian incursion “puts at question Russia’s capacity to be within the G8."
Additionally, the six other nations in the G8 have severed their roles in the planning of the next G8 summit which paradoxically is scheduled to take place in Russia. The six other G8 member nations, which include Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Italy and France and Japan, are allies of the United States and generally support its positions on matters affecting the G8. Russia, which joined the G8 in 1997, generally has played a back seat role in G8 conferences. The severing of participation in the planning of the next G8 summit by the seven allied nations further sets Russia apart and exposes it to the international stage as an aberrant nation.
Great Britain dropped out of planning meetings at the Sochi Summit and Canada has gone so far as to recall its ambassador from Moscow. The United States has scaled back its cooperation with Russia on additional matters, such as the coordination of military activities.
Kerry's newly found position on the exclusion of Russia from the G8 is in sharp contrast to the Obama Administration's reversal of its policies on Feb. 28. On that day, Administration officials debunked their earlier statements of condemnation of Russia for its military invasion of Ukraine upon learning that Russian military forces had landed on one its own naval bases in Crimea, Ukraine.
The Group of Eight was founded as the Group of Six in 1975 at a conference hosted by France. It included all of the current nations with the exception of Canada and Russia. Canada joined the group in 1976 as did Russia in 1997. The purpose of the G8 is to discuss the major issues facing the global community such as economic issues, the environment, health, world terrorism,labor, and world trade.