Friday, June 5, 2015

Russia left in summit cold for second year running

Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — For a second year in a row, the annual summit of major world economies will exclude Russia when the group's leaders convene Sunday in a German castle.
The Kremlin's absence from the two-day meeting of the Group of Seven or G-7 underscores a widening East-West split prompted by the conflict in Ukraine. ... 
Russia has largely kept quiet about efforts by world powers to sideline its public diplomacy on the world stage.
"Russia has come to terms with its exclusion from this elite club," said James Nixey, an expert on Russia at Chatham House, the London-based think tank. "It was a slap in the face at the time, but when you get slapped it stings and then fades." ... 
Putin's office did not return a request for comment on whether Russia is suffering from being excluded from the meeting.
Ekaterina Zabrovskaya, editor of Russia Direct, a Moscow-based website for opinion and analysis of Russian policy, said it's not a good sign for Ukraine that Russia was expelled from the G-8 because it means there are fewer opportunities for both sides to explain their positions and find some common ground. But it is not as problematic as it sounds.
"Russia has always considered the G-8 to be about prestige and more of a club," she said. "Being invited back would definitely be a victory for the Kremlin, but I don't think they are worried about rejoining ASAP."
Zabrovskaya added that the sanctions were counter-productive, not substantially harming Russia's economic elite but rather its ordinary citizens, and they fostered anti-Western, particularly anti-American, sentiment.

No comments: