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The G8 becomes the G7. We’ll look at the U.S., Europe and the Russia challenge now.
Russian soldiers aplenty in Crimea today, and many more on the borders of Ukraine. And in Brussels, President Obama speaking about the United States and Europe as global anchors of democracy and freedom. The kind of speech that harkens back to Reagan days – even JFK. But it’s not those days. Europe and the US are talking sanctions, not tanks. After all these years, is there still the Western unity to speak with one voice to Russia? After all the Russian billions that have washed into London and beyond? And what should that voice say? This hour On Point: the US, Europe, and Russia now.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Lilia Shevtsova, chair of the Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. Professor at Moscow's Higher School of Economics.
Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Former Swedish diplomat.
John Kornblum, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Former U.S. assistant secretary of state for European Affairs and former U.S. ambassador to Germany and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.
The Economist: Honey trapped -- "Russian wealth has permeated the upper reaches of society in Britain more completely than in any other Western country. The amount of money that post-Soviet oligarchs have pumped into 'Londongrad' means, say critics, that David Cameron’s government will never crack down on them, no matter how incensed it is by Russia’s enormities. Accidentally revealed briefing notes stating that London’s financial centre, the City, should not be closed to Russians seemed to bolster the case."
Washington Post: Ousted by G-8, Russia determined to prove it can thrive without the West — "Brushing aside Western sanctions and its suspension from the Group of Eight nations, Russia is projecting an upbeat mood with plans to modernize and reinforce its Black Sea naval fleet and create its own domestic payment system to substitute for international credit cards. The moves reflect a generally sunny official response to Russia’s increasing isolation since it annexed Crimea, as if the lines are now clear and Russia has a chance to prove that it can go it alone, buck Western economic sanctions and build up Crimea as well."
The Christian Science Monitor: Amid Russia crisis, Obama reluctantly 'pivots' back to Europe — "Already, at Mr. Obama’s urging, the Group of Seven nations on Monday suspended Russia’s participation and moved the group’s June meeting from Sochi, Russia, to Brussels. But if Obama is going to get Europe to commit to further penalties against Russia for invading and annexing Crimea, he is going to have to make a deep commitment to ramping up transatlantic diplomacy, analysts say."
This program aired on March 26, 2014.