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G8 minus 1: Russia kept out in the cold

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 01:48

June 4 - The world's leading industrialised nations meet without Russia for the first time in 17 years. But will the snub have any impact on President Putin and the crisis in Ukraine? Ivor Bennett reports

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TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE** The message couldn't be clearer from Barack Obama and the West. The American President's meeting with Petro Poroshenko was not just a show of support for Ukraine's President-elect, it was also a warning. (SOUNDBITE) (English) US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "It's important for the international community to stand solidly behind the efforts of Petro to broker with the Russians a process whereby Russia no longer is financing or supporting or arming separatists on Ukraine's sovereign territory." It's a message being echoed in Brussels too - where Japan's Shinzo Abe was the first to arrive for a meeting between G7 nations. There were supposed to be eight - Russia was left out in retaliation for seizing Crimea. It's the first time in 17 years that Russia's been' excluded from talks on this level. Sarah Hewin from Standard Chartered thinks it will have an impact. SOUNDBITE (English) SARAH HEWIN, HEAD OF RESEARCH, STANDARD CHARTERED, SAYING: "It sends a clear message to Putin and I think that's important to keep the pressure on Russia in this new period. The new president in Ukraine I think has managed at least to show that there is some popular support and mandate within Ukraine." Money is the issue for protesters outside the summit. For the leaders inside though, it's energy - and how to diversify supply. Almost a third of Europe's oil and gas comes from Russia - any escalation of tensions could disrupt supply. What comes next will be a difficult balancing act - singing the same tune is the first priority.

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G8 minus 1: Russia kept out in the cold

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 - 01:48

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