Russia Now Excluded from G8

The U.S. and its allies announced Monday that they would, for now, exclude Russia from the G8 and boycott a planned summit in Sochi in retaliation over its Crimea takeover -- though Russia's government shrugged off the latest efforts to isolate the country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit at The Hague, reportedly said it would not be a "big problem" if the G8 does not convene.

"If our western partners believe the format has exhausted itself, we don't cling to this format," he said, according to Reuters. He spoke as all members of the G8 group except for Russia -- known as the G7 -- met at The Hague on Monday to strategize over Moscow's aggression against Ukraine, amid concerns about a Russian troop buildup.

In a joint statement following that meeting, the leaders of the G7 nations warned that Russia's actions "will have significant consequences" and that they "remain ready to intensify actions ... that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation."

The statement announced that the G7 nations would not go to Sochi in June, and said they would "suspend" participation in the G8 "until Russia changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion." They said the June meeting would be held in Brussels instead of Sochi.

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