G8 united on Zimbabwe
After the fog of worthy declarations and statements of intent, the diplomatic air finally cleared in the Japanese mountains tonight. The G8 spoke as one, and without ambiguity on Zimbabwe, declaring Robert Mugabe's regime to be illegitimate and pledging to introduce sanctions against those using violence to back it.
It is not here at the G8 that the details of those sanctions will be worked out. That will come at the United Nations in New York, perhaps within the next 24 hours. It is thought that they are likely to be modelled on the EU's existing sanctions against 131 of the closest individuals to Robert Mugabe.
The aim will be to target their finances, and to ensure that they can't move their bank balances and their savings elsewhere, and not to hit the finances of ordinary Zimbabweans.
This agreement required the Russian president to drop his previous objections to interfering with Zimbabwe's internal affairs. It also required the G8 to finally give up on the quiet, and so far largely fruitless, diplomacy of South Africa, and to ignore the warnings of some African leaders here in Japan that any further moves against Robert Mugabe would lead to further internal violence.
UPDATE 07:00PM: Here's my interview with the prime minister from earlier today.