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Obama calls G7 meeting on Ukraine after Russia-Crimea treaty

Leaders to 'discuss further steps to support Ukraine'

18 March, 17:00
Obama calls G7 meeting on Ukraine after Russia-Crimea treaty (ANSA) - New York, March 18 - US President Barack Obama called for meetings of the Group of Seven leaders as well as the European Union to discuss the situation in Ukraine next week in The Hague, the White House said Tuesday.

The announcement came on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Crimea, and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol signed a treaty making Crimea a part of the Russian Federation.

This came after 96% of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine in a referendum on Sunday that the West has declared illegitimate.

The G7 and EU meetings are to take place on the margins of a nuclear security summit on March 24-25 and "will focus on the situation in Ukraine and further steps that the G7 may take to respond to developments and to support Ukraine", said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

The G7 nations, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, have suspended preparatory meetings for a G8 summit that would have included Russia and was scheduled to take place in June in the Russian city of Sochi.