Lavrov on canceled G8 meeting: "We don't believe it will be a big problem"
Monday, March 24, 2014 - 01:32
March 24 - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shows defiance after G8 leaders call for the next meeting of the group to be canceled. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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World leaders arrive for a royal dinner in the Hague. It's a working dinner hosted by the Dutch King and Queen for those attending the Nuclear Security Summit.
The leaders are taking part in two-days of talks aimed at agreeing steps to help prevent al Qaeda-style militant groups from acquiring nuclear bombs.
On the sidelines of the talks, an emergency Group of Seven meeting was held to discuss how to put pressure on Russia over Crimea. The G7 agreed to hold their own summit this year instead of attending a planned G8 meeting in Russia, and decided to suspend participation in the G8 until Russia changes course.
Earlier at a news conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the G8 may have outlived its purpose.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV SAYING:
"If our Western partners believe the format has exhausted itself, we don't cling to this format. We don't believe it will be a big problem if it doesn't convene."
Western officials now are focused less on persuading Russian President Vladimir to relinquish Crimea - a goal that seems beyond reach - than on deterring him from seizing other parts of Ukraine, which were under Moscow's control within the Soviet Union until its break-up in 1991.
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