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No returning to G8: Russia
June 4, 2014, 4:45 pm

Two security guards pass the entrance of the European Council building in Brussels ahead of a two-day G7 meeting, Wednesday, June 4, 2014 [AP]

Two security guards pass the entrance of the European Council building in Brussels ahead of a two-day G7 meeting, Wednesday, June 4, 2014 [AP]

Russia said Wednesday that it was open for cooperation with major Western powers, but ruled out a return to the Group of Eight (G8), made up of the seven most industrialized nations, known as G7, and Russia.

“Such a format does not exist for now,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told a Russian radio station.

Russia would, however, continue to participate in the Group of 20, which includes the most developed and major developing countries of the world, Peskov said.

Leaders of G7 declared in March that they would boycott the G8 summit in Sochi, where they were scheduled to have met with Russia this week. Instead, they gathered in Brussels for a two-day G7 summit.

The expulsion of Russia from the G8 came three days after Crimea accession to Russia.

Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin will not have a bilateral meeting with US President Barack Obama even though both leaders are attending the 70th anniversary of D-Day Landings in France’s Normandy on Friday.

“We are not making such preparations … Participants of war memorial events will stay together, in one group,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted him as saying.

He, however, did not rule out possible brief talks between Putin and Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko.

The Kremlin earlier confirmed that Putin, on his first visit to a Western country since the start of the Ukraine crisis, would have separate meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Normandy.

The US and EU have imposed travel bans and asset freezes on dozens of Russians over what they called Russia’s “meddling” in Ukraine’s affairs.

The European Union, however, would be troubled by Russia’s attempts to veer away from gas exports to the bloc by moving towards energy-hungry China.

Russia has had some success in diverting attention away from the troubling sanctions with the successful negotiations that led to the inking of a massive $400 billion gas deal with China last month and also the signing of the treaty to form the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, a combined $2.7 trillion economy and vast energy resources.

 

TBP and Agencies

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