Should Putin’s G8 snub have consequences?

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced that he would not attend the G8 summit at Camp David saying that he needed to complete the formation of a new cabinet of ministers. It is not the first time Putin has rebuffed invitations to visit the US, nor is it the first time that diplomatic sources have doubted his excuses. Russian State Duma deputies have warned against reading too much into the snubs.

But some are not buying into their pleas. Anders Aslund contends in Forign Policy magazine that Putin’s actions should not go unpunished.

“The G-7, when it was set up in the mid-1970s, was supposed to be the club of the seven biggest industrial democracies in the world. Because of the democratic endeavors of Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, the G-7 welcomed Russia in 1997. But because Russia is no longer a democracy by any stretch of the word, the basis for Russia’s membership in the G-8 has evaporated,” he writes.

Meanwhile, Kennette Benedict argues that despite the G8 snub, Russia should be invited to join NATO.

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