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BRUSSELS, March 03, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s partners in the Group of Eight (Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, France, and Japan) are not discussing a boycott of the G8 summit in Sochi in June, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini said after an urgent meeting of the EU foreign ministers on Ukraine held on Monday, March 3.
The communique adopted unanimously after a long discussion and released by the White House does not call for boycotting the summit but calls for suspending the G7 countries’ participation in the preparatory meetings, she said.
This does not mean that the G8 format no longer exists, the minister added.
Her Spanish colleague Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said sanctions against Russia over Ukraine would be unjustified.
“It would be hard to imagine what may happen to the economy of Ukraine if Russia stops trade and economic cooperation with it or, for example, raises the price of gas,” the minister said, adding that Russian gas supplies were also important for the EU.
He believes that the dialogue could be based on the February 21 agreement on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, which was signed in Kiev with the participation of three European countries.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is drafting a bill on economic sanctions against Russia because of its stance on Ukraine.
Senator Chris Murphy said such steps could include sanctions against Russian banks, freezing assets, imposing travel bans.
It was announced earlier on Monday, March 3, that the G7 countries had decided to suspend their participation in events associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June.
The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Commission, and the President of the European Council condemned what they called Russia’s “clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in contravention of Russia’s obligations under the U.N. Charter and its 1997 basing agreement with Ukraine.”
They called on Moscow to “address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations, and/or via international observation or mediation under the auspices of the U.N. or the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”
However, the Russian Foreign Ministry said this decision was “not only politically flawed but it also runs counter to the principles of constructive interaction within the Group of Eight format, which is intended to tap the combined potential of its member countries in the interests of development and global stability and to combat transboundary challenges and threats.”
“Russia has repeatedly provided necessary explanations via various channels and at all levels” regarding the situation in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.