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G7's warning to left out Russia

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 02:14

June 5 - The world's leading industrialised nations turn to trade, finance and energy after threatening - but not imposing - harder-hitting sanctions on Russia. Joanna Partridge assesses what progress they've made.

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The person missing from the table was the centre of attention. Leaders from the group of 7 industrialised nations met without Russian President Putin in Brussels. SOUNDBITE: U.S President, Barack Obama, saying (English): "Originally of course our summit was supposed to be in Sochi, but after Russia's actions in Ukraine our nations united quickly around a common strategy. We suspended Russia from the G8, and we cancelled the Sochi meeting, making this the first G7 held without Russia in some 20 years." They've threatened Moscow with more sanctions if it doesn't help restore stability to eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militias are active. SOUNDBITE: British Prime Minister, David Cameron, saying (English): "President Putin must recognise the legitimate election of President Poroshenko, he must stop arms crossing the border into Ukraine, he must cease Russian support for separatist groups. And third if these things don't happen then sectoral sanctions will follow." Up to now, sanctions have included relatively minor travels bans and asset freezes on dozens of Russian officials. But the possible "phase three" would include restrictions on trade, energy and finance. SOUNDBITE: U.S President, Barack Obama, saying (English): "All 7 of our nations have taken steps to impose costs on Russia for its behaviour. Today, in contrast to a growing global economy, a sluggish Russian economy is even weaker, because of the choices made by Russia's leadership." They've also pledged to help Ukraine reduce its energy risk - along with countries in central and eastern Europe. Energy supply is a sensitive topic - because Europe also relies on Russia for around a third of its oil and gas. The EU's committed to finding alternatives, but that will take time and partly depends on the United States' willingness to supply the bloc with liquefied natural gas. Philip Shaw is Chief Economist at Investec. SOUNDBITE: Philip Shaw, Chief Economist, Investec, saying (English): "The German government for example appears to be relaxing the laws on fracking to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, so I think there is some progress being made in the wider sphere, but these things really don't happen overnight." The G7 may not have to wait long for Russia's answer to its latest warning. After the Brussels meeting, the next stop was Paris, for D-Day anniversary commemorations - an event which Putin was invited to.

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G7's warning to left out Russia

Thursday, June 05, 2014 - 02:14