It was supposed to be a G-8 in Sochi, it will be a G-7 in Brussels, where for the first time in fifteen years no representative from Moscow will be present. The biggest world powers has decided to punish Putin after the annexation of Crimea and the continual destabilising actions in South-East Ukraine. Still the most notably assent will be present more than ever – at the core of the leaders’ discussions. The Ukrainian crisis will be on the table, together with the hope that “Moscow will start a cooperation with the new government,” as diplomatic sources explained. The G-8 future will be debated too: will it still exist? At which conditions Moscow will be listed again?
“No condition has been fixed yet,” – not even the renounce to Crimea by Moscow, the region is clearly considered as lost nowadays. “The EU and the G-7 have been clear in saying that the annexation was not acknowledged and that this position is not for changing,” sources reiterated. Still it does not appear this will be the ‘sine qua non’ condition to restart negotiating with Russia. Moscow “has excluded itself from the group with its actions,” said diplomatic sources, “the G-7 supports common values, a certain shared view of the world.” It is thus up to Russia to decide whether to respect principles such as “democracy, rule of law, territorial integrity” to come back at the table of the world biggest powers.
Hence the door is not completely shut. And it seems that the relationship with Moscow won’t be affected by new sanctions. “We are at a point in which diplomatic and political efforts are our priorities,” explained us European sources. “The Ukrainian election brought about a political majority and we hope there will a new direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine, and this is what we ask Moscow: to commit itself into the dialogue, without destabilizing the Eastern region.” For sure, all possibilities remain open for the possible evolutions on the ground; “We cannot exclude that, in case of a further escalation, new measures won’t be taken, still our priority is the possibility of a dialogue, opened after the election.”