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G8 suspends Russia over Crimea annexation

Decision made by G7, including Italy, amid tensions in Ukraine

18 March, 12:21
G8 suspends Russia over Crimea annexation (ANSA) - Rome, March 18 - The G8 has suspended Russia from the club of the world's most developed economies after President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he was moving forward to annex Crimea, France's foreign minister said. "We have decided to suspend Russia's participation, that is we foresee all the other countries, the seven largest countries, coming together, without Russia," said Laurent Fabius, in an interview with France's Radio Europe 1.

The decision was made by the group's seven other members, the G7, which includes Italy, amid tensions over Ukraine. On Sunday Crimea voted in a controversial referendum to split from Ukraine, which the EU and the US have declared is illegal. On Monday Putin officially recognized the region's independence, and on Tuesday he informed his parliament of Crimea's request to join Russia in a first step towards annexing the peninsula.