Russia may return to the «Big eight» (G8) this year. For the return of the Russian Federation and expansion of the groups G7 to G8 presidency stands at the moment in the «group of seven» Italy, according to local newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The closest G7 summit will be held 26-27 may in the Italian town of Taormina. The publication notes that while the question of the quantitative membership of the forum remains open. However, «the Italian government is seriously considering the possibility to participate (in it) Russia», writes NEWSru.com.
According to the newspaper, the question of possible Russian participation in the summit was discussed at the Berlin meeting of the heads of the Council of Ministers of Italy Paolo Gentiloni and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German authorities oppose the return of Russia to the G8. They explain their position by lack of progress in the process of peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.
The parties have agreed to postpone the discussion of this question until the moment that will take the first steps on a post of the President of the United States Donald trump. His inauguration will take place tomorrow, January 20.
The presidency of the G7 moved to Italy on 1 January 2017. Soon after the accession of Russia to «seven» and restore the G8 format said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Italy Angelino Alfano.
«We should expect the return of Russia in the G8, but we still don’t know whether it is possible to implement it by may», — quoted his words on 10 January, the Agency ANSA.
It is expected that at the may summit, the leaders of the countries «the seven» will discuss the issue of continuing sanctions against Russia.
G8 — a forum of economically developed Nations, since 1998, represented the «eight». In 2014, the «eight» became «seven». After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the members of the club decided not to go to the next G8 summit in Sochi and gathered without Russia in Brussels. Now in the «group of seven» are Germany, USA, Canada, Japan, France, UK, Italy.
In the West, previously there were calls to return to Russia part of the G8. This, in particular, repeatedly stated by the Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier. As a condition of return was called the implementation of the Minsk agreement on peaceful settlement of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
However, he pointed to the profitability of the return of Russia in the G8: «All the time is like the opportunity to participate in certain forums — this is a gift for Russia. We sometimes forget why it is in our interests to involve Russia in the international partnership and sharing of responsibility».
However, in may 2016 during a meeting in Japan, G7 leaders called for the preservation of sanctions against Russia, imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
In turn, Moscow has said that Russia has not taken any steps for the return in the G8 and will not do. This, in particular, in June 2016, said Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Italy wants to invite Russia for the may forum of the «Big seven» 19.01.2017