Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during his working meetings at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 28.

Alexei Nikolsky/The Associated Press

Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned Russia could be expelled from the G8 over its provocative military moves in Ukraine, but the possibility of expulsion is in question since booting a nation from the club requires a consensus that so far appears elusive.

In his strongest language yet on possible retaliation against a defiant Moscow, Mr. Harper told a Toronto audience on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has put his country "on a course of diplomatic and economic isolation that could well see Russia exit the G8 entirely." Earlier, he spoke personally with Ukraine's new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and reassured him of Canada's support for the nation's sovereignty.

"The situation in Ukraine remains extremely serious for global peace and security," he said at an annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. "Canada and its G7 partners have spoken with one voice in condemning President Putin's military intervention in Ukraine."

Story continues below advertisement

While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has similarly said Mr. Putin could be stripped of his G8 membership, at least one G7 nation – Germany – has publicly expressed disagreement. And that's problematic, one international relations expert said, because expulsion requires a consensus.

"They have to be comfortable about who sits around the table," said Fen Hampson, a director at the Ontario-based Centre for International Governance Innovation. "All it takes is one country to say we're not going to go along ... If there's no agreement that expulsion is on the table, then no country should be putting it on the table. It's not credible."

After Mr. Kerry made his statement on NBC's Meet the Press, Germany's foreign minister made the case for allowing Russia to remain in the club.

"The G8 panel is the only panel where we Westerners talk directly to Russia, so should we really sacrifice this only panel?" Frank-Walter Steinmeier told German public broadcaster, ARD, according to Agence France-Presse.

Mr. Hampson said he believes Germany's reluctance stems from self-interest: aside from investment considerations, the country is heavily dependent on Russia for natural gas.

"They're not going to jeopardize that relationship," he predicted. "Russia's biggest ally, in terms of this particular issue, is Germany. Merkel has the closest relationship with Putin of any of the G8 leaders."

The G8, whose origins trace back to the 1970s, is an informal club of world leaders – there are no written rules about membership or non-membership, and decisions don't require any sort of parliamentary or government approval, Mr. Hampson said.

Story continues below advertisement

Should the G7 leaders choose to take unprecedented action and expel Russia, they need not convene in person, and would instead likely schedule a conference call to declare their unified position. The leaders could also choose to suspend Moscow for a period of time, Mr. Hampson said.

At the event Monday, Mr. Harper urged Mr. Putin to withdraw his troops from the strategic, Russian-speaking Crimea region, and said he has cancelled any government representation at the Sochi Paralympic Games in Russia and instructed officials to review all planned bilateral interaction with Moscow.

On Sunday, a day after Mr. Harper convened an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the escalation in Ukraine, the G7 nations released a statement saying they had withdrawn from preparations for the upcoming G8 Summit in Sochi. Ottawa has also recalled its ambassador to Moscow for consultations and summoned Russia's ambassador to Canada for a diplomatic dressing down.

With a report from Kim Mackrael in Toronto

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies