032214_ANHQ_Sanctions_640The U.S. and its allies announced Monday that they would, for now, exclude Russia from the G8 and boycott a planned summit in Sochi in retaliation over its Crimea takeover — though Russia’s government shrugged off the latest efforts to isolate the country.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit at The Hague, reportedly said it would not be a “big problem” if the G8 does not convene.  “If our western partners believe the format has exhausted itself, we don’t cling to this format,” he said, according to Reuters. He spoke as all members of the G8 group except for Russia — known as the G7 — met at The Hague on Monday to strategize over Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine, amid concerns about a Russian troop buildup. MORE