POLITICS: PennAve

White House: 'No one is preparing for a G-8 right now'

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Politics,White House,Russia,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Jay Carney,Foreign Policy,Ukraine

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Monday said that “no one” was preparing for the upcoming G-8 summit in Russia and that it would be “hard to imagine” the meeting being held without further planning.

The group's members have stopped their preparations for the summit, scheduled to take place in Sochi, Russia in June, after Russian forces seized control of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Carney sidestepped a question about whether the U.S. and other members of the G-7 would meet on their own without Russia to isolate Moscow.

“What I can tell you is no one is preparing for a G-8 right now because of the actions that Russia has taken,” he said. “And it is ... just so happens that Russia is meant to host the G-8 this year.

“We'll see how this transpires, but absent any preparations, it's hard to imagine a G-8 happening,” Carney added.

President Obama has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw troops from Crimea and prevent the pro-Russian government there from holding a referendum on seceding from Ukraine.

Obama has laid the groundwork for sanctions against individuals found to be undermining Ukraine's democracy or territorial integrity. But the administration may face a tougher time rallying support for punishing Russia directly.

A CNN poll released Monday found that a majority of the public at 59 percent backed economic sanctions against Russia. But only 40 percent supported canceling the G-8 summit.

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