Russia not pursing return to G8, says foreign minister

Written by The Frontier Post

Monitoring Desk

MOSCOW: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that Russia had never approached anyone to seek a return to the G8.

“Moscow became aware of the talks regarding Russia’s return to the group through media. In all these years we have never touched the topic in our contacts with anyone,” Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow.

Russia was suspended from the G8 in 2014 due to its annexation of Crimea as well as its political and military support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

At the G7 summit in France, the U.S. President Trump created a flutter, by demanding to readmit Russia into the group. Trump on Sunday said on the sidelines of the summit that Washington will “certainly possible” invite Russian President Putin as a guest of next year’s G7 summit, which will be held in the U.S.

Lavrov said that the readmission was never part of Russia’s foreign policy endeavor.

“In all these years we have never touched the topic of the G8 in our contacts with anyone, and, frankly speaking, we did not even have it in mind when we were building our foreign policy,” he said.

Separately, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia could not return to the G8 at the invitation of just one country. But he said that Moscow does not consider Trump’s suggestion to restore the format to the G8 a “provocation”. (AA)

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