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Seven World Powers Suspend Preparations for G-8 Summit in Russia

<p>The "G-7" nations sharply criticized Russia after its incursion into Crimea.</p>
Image: Concerns Grow In Ukraine Over Pro Russian Demonstrations In The Crimea Region
SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 02: Pro-Russian militants station themselves behind a row of shields near a local government building and a statue of Lenin on March 2, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. The new government of Ukraine has appealed to the United Nations Security Council for help against growing Russian intervention in Crimea, where thousands of Russian troops reportedly arrived in recent days at Russian military bases there and also occupy key government and other installations. World leaders are scrambling to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to refrain from further escalation in Ukraine. Ukraine has put its armed forces on combat alert. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Ahead of a planned summit of industrialized nations — scheduled to take place in Russia — seven world powers Sunday denounced Russia's hostile takeover of Crimea and said they are suspending preparations for the Sochi talks.

In a joint statement, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — the members of the "G-8" summit, sans Russia — condemned "the Russian Federation's clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine."

"We have decided for the time being to suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion," the statement said.

The world powers called on Russia to "address any ongoing security or human rights concerns" that it has with Ukraine and pressed "all parties concerned to behave with the greatest extent of self-restraint and responsibility, and to decrease the tensions."

European leaders on Sunday called for calm in the midst of international outrage over Russia’s incursion into Crimea as Secretary of State John Kerry announced he will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with both legislators and civilians.

Kerry on Sunday called Russia's takeover of Crimea — which is shaping into the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War — an “incredible act of aggression."

—Daniel Arkin

Image: Ukrainian demonstrators take part in a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London
Ukrainian demonstrators take part in a protest outside the Russian Embassy in London on March, 2.Alastair Grant / AP