Western leaders gather in bid to isolate Russia - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Western leaders gather in bid to isolate Russia

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - Seeking to intensify pressure on Moscow, the United States and its western partners sought Monday to isolate Russia, with Britain insisting that a planned summit of leading economic powers to be hosted by Vladimir Putin would not go forward.

World leaders gathering in the Netherlands were angling for ways to prove Russia would face increasing estrangement from the powerful Group of Eight world powers unless it changes course in Ukraine. British Prime Minister David Cameron said a summit scheduled for June in Sochi was now off the table, while the U.S. warned that Russia's global standing would continue to deteriorate as the West sought to present a united front against Putin.

"As long as Russia is flagrantly violating international law ... there is no need for the G-7 to engage with Russia," said Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser.

The reconstituted Group of Seven -- Russia excluded -- planned an emergency meeting later Monday to plot a path forward. Rhodes said the session was aimed at foreshadowing "what economic sanctions Russia will be faced with if it continues down this course." He said the countries also would discuss international efforts to assist the fledgling Ukrainian government.

The delicate diplomacy took place on the sidelines of a long-planned nuclear security summit in The Hague, where the official topic -- nuclear terrorism -- was quickly overshadowed by the West's alarm over Russia's move to annex the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

In a show of western solidarity, Obama declared shortly after arriving in the Netherlands on Monday morning that the U.S. and Europe stand together behind Ukraine.

"We're united in imposing a cost on Russia for its actions so far," Obama said after meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
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