White House: No G8 meeting in Sochi

There will be no Group of 8 meeting in Sochi, the White House said Monday, instead opting for a summit in Brussels that does not include Russia.

"G7 will meet in Brussels in June. No G8 in Sochi," White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes tweeted.

Following a meeting in the Netherlands, British Prime Minister David Cameron also said the G8 summit, planned for June, is off.

"We should be clear there's not going to be a G8 summit in Russia," Cameron told reporters.

In a statement, the leaders of the seven nations - Canada, France, Germany,  Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States, reaffirmed their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and condemned Russia, reiterating that the annexation of Crimea violates international law.

"We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine's constitution," the declaration, issued after a meeting in The Hague, said. "We also strongly condemn Russia's illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations. We do not recognize either."

As its leaders have said, the group said Russia's actions will have "significant consequences" and that they challenge the rule of law worldwide. The countries have already imposed sanctions on Russia but are willing to go further.

"We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation," the group said.

The impact of canceling the summit is unclear. In a CNN poll released last week, 58 percent of Americans opposed canceling the G8.

Katie Zezima covers the White House for Post Politics and The Fix.
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