Determined to teach Russia a lesson in wake of its annexation of Crimea, the G7 leaders on Monday decided to remove Russia from the membership of Group of Eight, and planned the next summit to be held at Brussels.
Russia expressed "indignation" on Thursday over the US State Department`s decision to downgrade the country to the bottom of a US table of nations combating human trafficking, a move which could spark sanctions.
The meeting of world leaders in Northern Ireland was also due to seek a deal on tax evasion but it was the divisions over the civil war in Syria that threatened to overshadow the second day of the gathering.
Despite having serious differences in their views on Syria at G8 summit, US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin agreed to a common “peaceful” end to the civil war and push ahead the two day summit in Ireland.
President Barack Obama declared peace in Northern Ireland a "blueprint" for those living amid conflict around the world, while acknowledging that the calm between Catholics and Protestants will face further tests.