Leaders of seven G8 countries decided on Monday to suspend Russia from its G8 membership and canceled a scheduled meeting in Sochi Russia to send a united message against Russia’s move to annex Crimea into the Russian Federation from Ukraine.
“We also strongly condemn Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations” a statement read from G7 leaders.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov brushed off the actions taken by G7 nations and said that being kicked out of the G8 was no big deal.
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations have re-scheduled their economic meeting for Brussels in June.
While an estimated 20,000 Russian troops have amassed along the Russian border in eastern Ukraine, leaders from the Group of Seven nations have warned Russia of facing more serious economic sanctions if Moscow decides to escalate the situation further in Ukraine and the surrounding region.
The US and EU have already issued sanctions against several Russian individuals whom they believe were involved in Crimea’s annexation.
Russia responded by issuing sanctions against several U.S. politicians.
Energy ministers from the Group of Seven have pledged to work together to lower their dependence on Russian gas and oil in the future.
Russia is currently the European Union’s third largest trading partner.
Russia sells approximately $300 billion of oil and gas a year with the majority of it headed to Europe.