The June 4th editorial in the Telegraph:
Kick the Russians Out
Russia's membership of G8 is becoming awkward. If it were not for Vladimir Putin's presence at the table at the annual summit, the principal topic of conversation would be him.
Relations between Russia and the West are at their worst since the end of the Cold War. There have always been arguments about Nato expansion, human rights abuses in Chechnya, UN vetoes and Russia's sympathy for its erstwhile allies in the Third World, including Iran.
Now, though, the quarrels have moved closer to home. Moscow is furious about the US's anti-missile defence shield and, as we report today, President Putin has threatened to aim Russian missiles at European cities.
At the same time, Russia is accused of violating the 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which set upper limits to the deployments of the former Cold War blocs.
The Kremlin has used energy prices as a weapon against Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria, cracked down on imports from Georgia, banned beef from Poland and flooded the email system of the Estonian parliament.
And, in the background, there is the continuing row over the Litvinenko murder, where Russia at best is being obstreperous and at worst may have been involved in the assassination - the assassination, let us recall, of a British subject living under the Queen's peace.
It is worth asking why Russia is in the G8 at all. It certainly doesn't qualify on the basis of the size of its economy. The answer is that it was admitted under Boris Yeltsin in the hope that membership would encourage further democratisation.
Yet such freedom as was introduced in those years is now being revoked. Russia is showing all the signs of incipient dictatorship: the harassment of opposition politicians, the closure of independent media, the arrest of dissidents on spurious charges.
Membership of G8 bestows a credibility on the Putin regime which its actions no longer merit. It is time to go back to G7.