So for those wondering whether it was possible to kick Russia out of the G8, turns out all they have to do is just stop inviting Russia over to play and go back to calling themselves the G7 instead.
Russian troops have been solidifying their positions in Crimea in advance of Sunday’s referendum. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan, in a joint statement as the Group of 7, called the vote illegal on Wednesday and vowed unspecified “further action” if Russia annexes the peninsula.
Russia was added to the group in 1998. The country was scheduled to hold the rotating presidency for 2014. Woops.
The other 7 members did, however, leave open the door to a rapprochement at a later date:
“We also remind the Russian Federation of our decision to suspend participation in any activities related to preparation of a G8 Sochi meeting until it changes course and the environment comes back to where the G8 is able to have a meaningful discussion”
But don’t count on it.