G7 or G8

By Amir S. Ali

In 2014 Russia following Russian takeover of Crimea the world reacted and asked Russia to back off. Russians said, “No” and faced sanctions and isolation. During the last G7 summit in Quebec, Canada, US President Donald Trump voiced in favor of Russia and wanted Russia in G7 and turn it to G8. Russia was suspended from the elite G8 group of leading economies, who said they could not accept its breach of international law. A G7 statement released said: ‘This group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them.’ David Cameron, Barack Obama and other world leaders said it was up to Vladimir Putin to ‘change course’ over Ukraine or his country will remain excluded indefinitely.

Leaders of the remaining countries – Britain, the US, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Japan, who are calling themselves the G7 – agreed to meet again without Russia until it was ready to engage in ‘meaningful discussion’.

Is US shifting from a previous policy that condemned Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Crimea, world called as ‘contravention of international law’? Perhaps ‘yes’.

U.S. citizens are often victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by law-enforcement and other officials. U.S. consular assistance to detained individuals is often unreasonably delayed by Russian officials. Russia also enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals.  Due to the Russian government-imposed
reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, the U.S. government has reduced ability to provide services to U.S. citizens.

There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. The Russian Federation is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part
of Ukraine. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There are continuing abuses
against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea. A big segment of US population believes that President Trump has a soft corner in his heart about Russians because he praised President Vladimir Putin during his election campaign.
Besides this is what Senate Intelligence Committee leaders reviled after a closed hearing, “Russia intended to help Donald Trump secure the presidency when it meddled in the 2016 election.”

However, President tweeted, “THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.”