BRUSSELS – He's been disinvited and the meeting location abruptly switched out of his country. But Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the topic of conversation anyway when President Obama and the rest of the G-7 leaders get together over dinner here Wednesday.
In March, the U.S. and its most important allies retaliated for Putin's military occupation and subsequent annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula by suspending Russia's membership in what had been the G-8 club of rich countries.
At the time, Obama promised to "impose a greater cost" on Putin and his country if the confrontation over Ukraine escalated. But beyond a statement of unity and a stiffly worded communique directed at Russia, little more is expected from the Brussels gathering.