March 18 - As Russia moves to annex Crimea, Germany calls it violation of international law, while France says Moscow is suspended from G8. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lays claim to Crimea Tuesday - a move that draws thunderous applause and an air of celebration in Moscow. The former KGB spy spat defiance at the West as he expanding his grip on the region. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is calling it a blatant violation of international law. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Regarding the question of Crimea, the so-called referendum went against international law. The declaration of independence, which the Russian President also accepted yesterday, was against international law." The Russian move comes as the G7 allies will gather next week at The Hague to consider further responses to Russia. The G7 already suspended preparations for a G8 summit including Russia that is scheduled for June in Sochi. Now French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says Russia is suspended from the G8. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER LAURENT FABIUS SAYING: "However, where the G8 is concerned, that is the political form of dialogue between all the big countries together. We have decided to suspend the participation of Russia, that is, it is envisaged that all the other countries, the seven biggest countries unite without Russia." While the West is warning Russia that it will pay a price for Crimea that does not seem to worry Putin. He ended his speech telling the audience "I do not doubt your support."