U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday invited G7 leaders for an emergency meeting in the Netherlands next week to discuss further action in response to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, as world economic powers consider whether Moscow’ should keep its membership in the G8. The U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions against Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a treaty claiming the Black Sea region of Crimea as Russian territory, as Ukraine warned the showdown had entered a “military stage” with the killing of one of its soldiers on the peninsula.
The treaty signing was conducted at lightning speed in the Kremlin in a defiant expansion of Russia’s post-Soviet borders.
The move, less than three weeks after pro-Moscow troops first seized control of the strategic peninsula, triggered furious condemnation from Western leaders.
Though French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said G8 leaders decided to suspend Russia’s participation in the grouping, other member countries said no such decision was made. Britain’s Foreign Office said Russia was still part of the G8 but did not rule out a suspension.