And Eight Become Seven

President Barack Obama, who is in Europe for the Nuclear Security Summit, met with leaders of the G-7 (the US, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan) in the Netherlands Monday to discuss the situation in Ukraine. The seven nations, along with the Presidents of the European Union and the European Commission, expressed continuing support for the country through what is being called The Hague Declaration. The document denounces Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and once again makes a plea for a diplomatic solution. However, it also reaffirms that there will be “significant consequences” for Russia’s actions. “This group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities,” states the declaration. “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 [one] where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion … ”