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Ukraine tension: Russia suspended from G8, France to cancel arms deal

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Ukaraine tension: Russia suspended from G8, France to cancel arms deal
Paris, March 18: The Group of Eight world powers (G8) has suspended Russia from its fold amid tensions over the country's incursion into Crimea.

The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in June in Sochi, said an AP report.

France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday, on Europe-1 radio, "concerning the G8 ... we decided to suspend Russia's participation, and it is envisaged that all the other countries, the seven leading countries, will unite without Russia."

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted saying the west has "cheated Russia and crossed the line on Ukraine".

Going a step further, France might cancel a deal to sell two state-of-the-art warships to Russia, said the French foreign minister.

The statement came after Russian president Vladimir Putin approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea before the parliament in Moscow.

France is due to deliver two high-tech Mistral warships to Russia. "If Putin continues doing what he is doing we could envisage cancelling the sales," Fabius told TF1 television on Tuesday. "This would be part of a third level of sanctions. For the moment we are at the second level.

"But we will ask others, and I'm thinking namely the British, to do the same with the assets of the Russian oligarchs in London. Sanctions have to be shouldered by everyone."

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