G7 countries snub Putin and refuse to attend planned G8 summit in Russia

Western countries and Japan have suspended their 16-year collaboration with Russia in the G8 group in response to the annexation of Crimea and have threatened sweeping sanctions in the event of any Russian military moves in the region.

The move, a clear and deliberate break from the post-Soviet status quo, was intended to underline Russian isolation. Leaders from the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan met in The Hague as the G7 for the first time since Russian was brought into the group in 1998 to seal east-west co-operation and lay the cold war to rest. Read more

Pictured: G7 leaders of the European council. Photograph: Jerry Lampen/AP