TORONTO (Reuters) - Russia could ultimately be forced out of the Group of Eight major industrialized nations because of President Vladmir Putin’s military intervention in Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Monday.
“We call once again on President Putin to immediately withdraw his military. President Putin’s actions have put his country on a course of diplomatic and economic isolation that could well see Russia exit the G8 entirely,” he said.
On Saturday, Harper recalled Canada’s ambassador to Russia for consultations and froze Ottawa’s preparations to take part in the G8 summit in Sochi, Russia in June.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later “put at question Russia’s capacity to be within the G8,” which is comprised of the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Russia.
Harper spoke with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier on Monday and reiterated Canada’s offer of assistance, including related to the upcoming elections, according to a statement provided by Harper’s spokesman.
In the Canadian Parliament, the House of Commons adopted a motion condemning “Russia’s provocative military intervention in Ukraine,” and calling on it to withdraw its forces.
Reporting by Louise Egan, editing by G Crosse