The Group of Eight industrialized nations has reduced its ranks by one.
The more I think about it, this might be the unkindest cut of all that Russia will endure as punishment for its interference in Ukraine’s sovereign affairs.
The G-8 is now the G-7, as the remaining nations have given Russia the boot.
The G-8 had planned to meet in Sochi, Russia. The G-7 will meet in Brussels, Belgium.
The punishment is going to sting because Russia sought hard to be included in the industrialized consortium of nations after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Joining the other great industrialized powers — such as the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and Germany — meant a great deal to a nation struggling to find its way out of its communist past.
The Russian Federation emerged from the post-commie era a corrupt and struggling nation. Then it took its place at the table along with the other great industrialized powers.
Now it’s been relegated to pariah status, owing to its takeover of Crimea, its interference in Ukraine’s political unrest and its threat of more military intervention.
It’s been suggested by some in this country that the United States should arm the Ukrainians, that it should rattle its sabers more loudly. U.S.-led economic sanctions already are beginning to bite. Will they persuade Russia to back out of Ukraine? Probably not.
Will the G-7 decision to no longer include the Russians change the Kremlin’s attitude? Again, no.
It’s still going to sting. A lot. As it should.