(WASHINGTON) — After Russian troops took control of the Ukrainian region of Crimea, a move Secretary of State John Kerry called “an incredible act of aggression,” the U.S. and U.K. say they won’t participate in preparatory meetings for the G-8 summit that is scheduled to take place in Sochi, Russia, in June.
The U.S.’s decision comes after President Barack Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a lengthy phone call Saturday.
According to the White House press office, Obama and Putin spoke for about 90 minutes and Obama expressed his concern about the Russian military incursion in the Crimean region of Ukraine on Saturday. Russian troops, which have bases in Crimea, reportedly took control of a number of government and strategic transportation buildings without any weapon fire.
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague told ABC News on Sunday that the country will also skip the preparatory meetings. Canada recalled its ambassador from Moscow on Saturday.
Tensions have been high between Ukraine and Russia since protests in Kiev lead to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych. Russian officials have said that they still view Yanukovych as the legitimate leader of Ukraine and that their military actions in Crimea are warranted to protect ethnic Russians in the area.
Kerry told George Stephanopoulos on This Week there is a distinct possibility that the U.S. will end up boycotting the actual summit because of Russia’s actions.
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Lois M. Collins, Deseret News
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com