World leaders to boycott G8 summit in Sochi

BY Justin Scuiletti  March 24, 2014 at 6:48 PM EDT

G7 leaders met in The Hague Monday — without Russian President Vladimir Putin — and agreed that they intend to boycott the G8 conference in Sochi, Russia this June. Instead, the G7 will meet separately in Brussels.

In a joint statement, leaders from the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan condemned Russia’s actions concerning Crimea and threatened sanctions against the country. “We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation,” the statement read.

In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was not “clinging to that format,” and would pursue other forums for talk.

“The G8 is an informal club, with no formal membership, so no one can be expelled from it,” he said. “… if our western partners say there is no future for that format, then so be it.”