Make that the G7, via the New York Times:
President Obama and the leaders of the biggest Western economies agreed on Monday to exclude President Vladimir V. Putin from the Group of 8, suspending his government’s 15-year participation in the diplomatic forum and further isolating his country.
In a joint statement after a two-hour, closed-door meeting of the four largest economies in Europe, along with Japan and Canada, the leaders of the seven nations announced that a summit meeting planned for Sochi, Russia, in June will now be held in Brussels — without Russia’s participation.
“This group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them,” the statement said. “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.”
The step is a substantial one, although it's not exactly a surprise given how the West has reacted to Russia's decision to annex Crimea. Russia, meanwhile, reacted publicly to the news with something of a shrug. "The G8 is an informal club, with no formal membership, so no one can be expelled from it," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters. "Its raison d'etre was for deliberations between western industrialized countries and Russia, but there are other fora for that now … so if our western partners say there is no future for that format, then so be it. We are not clinging to that format."
TODAY IN SLATE
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.