4:00 PM, Mar 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The G-7 will not be meeting in Sochi this summer, according to a statement just released by the seven-nation group. "This Group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them. Under these circumstances, we will not participate in the planned Sochi Summit," reads the statement.
Here's the full statement:
THE HAGUE DECLARATION
The Hague, The Netherlands
March 24, 2014
1. We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague to reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.
2. International law prohibits the acquisition of part or all of another state’s territory through coercion or force. To do so violates the principles upon which the international system is built. We condemn the illegal referendum held in Crimea in violation of Ukraine’s constitution. We also strongly condemn Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Crimea in contravention of international law and specific international obligations. We do not recognize either.
3. Today, we reaffirm that Russia’s actions will have significant consequences. This clear violation of international law is a serious challenge to the rule of law around the world and should be a concern for all nations. In response to Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to demonstrate our determination to respond to these illegal actions, individually and collectively we have imposed a variety of sanctions against Russia and those individuals and entities responsible. We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate this situation.
4. We remind Russia of its international obligations, and its responsibilities including those for the world economy. Russia has a clear choice to make. Diplomatic avenues to de-escalate the situation remain open, and we encourage the Russian Government to take them. Russia must respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, begin discussions with the Government of Ukraine, and avail itself of offers of international mediation and monitoring to address any legitimate concerns.
5. The Russian Federation’s support for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine is a step in the right direction. We look forward to the mission’s early deployment, in order to facilitate the dialogue on the ground, reduce tensions and promote normalization of the situation, and we call on all parties to ensure that Special Monitoring Mission members have safe and secure access throughout Ukraine to fulfill their mandate.
6. This Group came together because of shared beliefs and shared responsibilities. Russia’s actions in recent weeks are not consistent with them. Under these circumstances, we will not participate in the planned Sochi Summit. We will suspend our participation in the G-8 until Russia changes course and the environment comes back to where the G-8 is able to have a meaningful discussion and will meet again in G-7 format at the same time as planned, in June 2014, in Brussels, to discuss the broad agenda we have together. We have also advised our Foreign Ministers not to attend the April meeting in Moscow. In addition, we have decided that G-7 Energy Ministers will meet to discuss ways to strengthen our collective energy security.
7. At the same time, we stand firm in our support for the people of Ukraine who seek to restore unity, democracy, political stability, and economic prosperity to their country. We commend the Ukrainian government’s ambitious reform agenda and will support its implementation as Ukraine seeks to start a new chapter in its history, grounded on a broad-based constitutional reform, free and fair presidential elections in May, promotion of human rights and respect of national minorities.
8. The International Monetary Fund has a central role leading the international effort to support Ukrainian reform, lessening Ukraine's economic vulnerabilities, and better integrating the country as a market economy in the multilateral system. We strongly support the IMF's work with the Ukrainian authorities and urge them to reach a rapid conclusion. IMF support will be critical in unlocking additional assistance from the World Bank, other international financial institutions, the EU, and bilateral sources. We remain united in our commitment to provide strong financial backing to Ukraine, to co-ordinate our technical assistance, and to provide assistance in other areas, including measures to enhance trade and strengthen energy security.
2:30 PM, Feb 8, 2014 • By ALGIS VALIUNAS
Mr. Vladimir Putin intends that the current Olympic games be forever stamped with his glory. Sochi is being protected by a “Ring of Steel.” Thus has spoken Russia’s current Man of Steel, who sees himself as the rightful descendant of the original, although Mr.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:20 PM, Feb 7, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast, with editor William Kristol on the week that was, Obamacare, the Sochi Olympics, immigration reform and the 2014 election cycle.
12:03 PM, Feb 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of State John Kerry was asked about security at the Olympics. He said he wasn't too concerned, but then brought up the Boston Marathon.
"Well, obviously, people have heard about the events that took place in Russia previously. And there’s been a lot of chatter about security and it’s a concern, but it’s not something – I mean, if somebody said to me, 'I’m thinking of going to the Olympics,' I’d say, 'Go and have a terrific time,'" Kerry told Al Koken of Comcast SportsNet in an interview.
10:22 AM, Feb 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says Sochi is a "very bad choice to have the Olympics":
12:22 PM, Feb 5, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Sochi Olympics are busy setting some sort of record for glitches and one of them has attracted the attentions of the indefatigable Senator Charles Schumer who is perturbed by the Russian’s unwillingness to allow the importation of yogurt.
7:18 AM, Feb 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Richard Engel reported last night on NBC that all visitors to the Sochi Olympics are getting hacked as soon as their electronic devices connect to any Russian network:
6:08 PM, Feb 4, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House press secretary says in a statement that President Obama met with his national security team today in the Situation Room to discuss security at the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
3:22 PM, Jan 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Olympics – ancient and modern divisions – were intended to be celebrations where men laid down their arms and engaged in competitions that did not end with bodies strewn across the landscape. The intentions were noble but the games – especially those of today – were inevitably corrupted by the usual things. Politics, avarice, commercialism, drugs …
5:21 PM, Jan 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House released this readout of a phone call between President Obama and President Putin of Russia today:
11:11 AM, Jan 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If the human interest bits on how one of the athletes in the curling competition overcame a childhood trauma of one sort or another, the over-the-top heraldic music, and the supercharged commentary were not enough to get you to skip the Olympics – or at least watch it via DVR – then this ought to chase you away:
A sign of strength or of weakness?Jan 13, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 17 • By CATHY YOUNG
As the winter holidays approached, the beleaguered Russian opposition had a rare occasion to celebrate: Russia’s three best-known political prisoners were unexpectedly granted their freedom. On December 20, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon whose arrest a decade ago escalated Vladimir Putin’s war on independent politics in Russia, received a presidential pardon and was flown to Germany, where his mother is undergoing cancer treatment.
5:25 PM, Dec 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be skipping the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. So will Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden.
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