March 18, 2014 / 2:03 PM / 5 years ago

G7 leaders to meet next week at The Hague to discuss Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its G7 allies will gather next week at The Hague to consider a further response to Russia’s attempt to absorb Ukraine’s Crimea region, the White House said on Tuesday.

The announcement came on the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty making Crimea a part of Russia after the region staged a referendum on Sunday that the West has declared illegitimate.

The G7 meeting will take place on the margins of a nuclear security summit at The Hague that U.S. President Barack Obama plans to attend.

“The meeting will focus on the situation in Ukraine and further steps that the G7 may take to respond to developments and to support Ukraine,” said White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

The United States imposed sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials on Monday while the European Union cited 21 people in Russia and Ukraine for sanctions.

The G7 includes the United States, Germany, Britain, Canada, France, Japan and Italy. The European Union was also invited to the talks.

The G7 leaders already have suspended preparations for a G8 summit, which includes Russia, that is scheduled for June in Sochi, Russia, but is in doubt because of Ukraine. Russia became the eighth member of the group in 1998.

Reporting By Steve Holland and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott

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