Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said the Group of Eight suspended Russia’s participation in their meetings. However, President Putin is still invited to visit France on June 6.

“At the moment, he is still invited. As for the G8 as a political formation for the dialogue of all big states together, we have decided to suspend the participation of Russia, there will be seven countries that gather [for the summit] – without Russia,” Fabius told Europe 1 radio.

France plans to hold a grand celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Allied Forces landing in Normandy.

Following Sunday’s referendum in Crimea in which over 96 percent of the population voted to join the Russian Federation, the US imposed sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The EU, in its turn, applied sanctions against 21 officials.

French defense and foreign ministers postponed their visit to Moscow that was scheduled for Tuesday in attempt to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.

Fabius called the crisis the biggest since the end of the Cold War, but called for calm.

“We want firmness to prevail and for Putin to not go any further, but at the same time we want to de-escalate the situation via dialogue,” said Fabius in an interview with France 2 television on Monday.

If Russia expanded its influence into the eastern Ukraine, then “there will be a reaction, including with force”, Fabius told France 2 TV, quoted by Reuters. “Ukraine has already mobilized some people and we cannot allow Russia to do simply anything.”

However, several Russian officials who were included on the list noted that they didn’t have any property or assets abroad…. see more

source: rt