Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Good On You, China!

China had a word with Russia, made America look bad...all told

Putin frozen out as the West unites over Crimea

President Obama: 'We’re united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far'
AFP/Getty Images

RUSSIA was ejected from the elite club of leading economies yesterday as world leaders turned their wrath on President Vladimir Putin for his landgrab in Crimea.
The West united to threaten tougher sanctions aimed at throttling the Russian economy if Putin took further military action in Ukraine.
Crisis talks between President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan ended with Russia being formally frozen out of the G8 club. The countries will boycott this year’s planned G8 summit in Sochi, which Putin was due to chair, and instead meet as a group of seven in Brussels in June.
As world leaders convened an emergency summit in The Hague, Moscow announced that its military takeover of Crimea was complete. Ukrainian forces had surrendered, joined Russian forces or been ejected from all military bases.
The Pentagon warned that the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine’s eastern border continued. ‘‘They’re still growing in numbers. They’re still in a hot state of readiness,’’ a senior US officer said.
The decision to call time on the G8 was the most concerted diplomatic effort yet to isolate Moscow.
Russia shrugged off the punishment as meaningless. Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, said it was no tragedy, and that Russia would wait a year or two before deciding whether it was worth pushing again for membership.
He added that most important decisions were taken by the larger club of G20 countries, which includes China, Brazil and India.
Western diplomats have also been trying to mobilise G20 countries into a wider condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and troop buildup.
The Western response so far has been divided, with the US issuing punitive sanctions against
‘If our Western partners believe that this format has no more future for itself, well so be it. We’ll wait a year or two and see how it goes, whether we really need it.’
Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister
Putin’s inner circle while Europe has targeted more junior figures with travel bans and asset freezes, in part because of splits within the EU about how harshly to respond.
William Hague said the UK was prepared to go further, suggesting the government was ready to bar Russian capital even if it hurt the City of London.
The foreign secretary said: ‘‘Every country would have to do what is necessary if more farreaching sanctions were applied, accepting that that would affect different economies in different ways. The United Kingdom is certainly prepared to do that.’’
G7 leaders made clear that they did not accept Putin’s actions, criticising Russia’s ‘‘illegal attempt to annex Crimea’’. A joint statement warned Moscow that it would face severe consequences unless it changed course.
‘‘This group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities,’’ the statement added. ‘‘Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them.’’
Lavrov said: ‘‘If our Western partners believe that this format has no more future for itself, well so be it. We’ll wait a year or two and see how it goes, whether we really need it. Many people actually believe that the G8 has already played its role because now that the G20 exists all the matters of global economy are discussed within that forum and the G8.’’