The Minister of foreign Affairs of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for a return of Russia in the G8 in the fulfilment of the Minsk agreements. “Always pretend that Russia’s participation in certain forums should be a gift for her. We forget about why it is in our interest to involve Russia in the international partnership and shared responsibility,” he said in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel.
Steinmeier stressed that “in times of crisis are important formats in which the country can overcome the silence and return to the negotiating table”. “There is no convincing historical examples, pointing to the fact that the isolation and foreclosure would bring us world peace. Thus, the major industrialized countries should be interested in the return of Russia in the G8 in the fulfilment of the Minsk agreements”, — said the Minister.
The German foreign Minister said “different experiences in relations with Russia”: on the one hand, according to him, the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in the Donbas; on the other, “at the same time,” Moscow’s help in the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program. “Everyone recognizes that we need Russia in resolving major international crises,” added Steinmeier.
On the question of extension of sanctions against Russia, the Minister said: “We noted that the number of opponents of anti-Russian sanctions in the EU has increased. Compared to last year will be hard to find a single attitude. But despite the fact that it’s tedious, we will aspire to it”.
In mid-April, Steinmeier before the meeting of foreign Ministers “the seven” in Hiroshima said that he would like to see the revival of the G8 format. “I would hope that the G7 will not remain a permanent format, we must create the conditions for a return to the G8,” said the Minister. — It is obvious that no serious international conflict without Russia not to decide.”
In late April, unnamed sources, Der Spiegel, the office of the Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel said that the format of the “Big seven” is unlikely to be extended to the former. In the apparatus Merkel expressed doubts that Moscow will be able to fulfill the conditions of his return to “eight”. In addition, according to the magazine, against the resumption of the G8 are the us authorities.
In Moscow, also in April announced that the G8 format was in the past and to revive his sense. “It’s repetition, there’s no element of novelty, therefore participation of Russia in “group of eight” is, in my opinion, completely irrelevant question”, — stressed Deputy foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Ryabkov.
In the Kremlin, commenting on the statement, Ryabkov, pointed out that the question of the return in the G8 is not on the agenda. “Of far greater interest is the part in the format associated with the twenty”, — said the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov.
The “big eight” are called informal grouping of Russia, UK, Germany, USA, Italy, France, Canada and Japan. Russia participated in the work of the group from 1997 to 2014. Participation of Moscow in this format were suspended after the annexation of Crimea. Then for joining Russia voted by an absolute majority of the referendum participants. Ukrainian authorities and Western countries have considered this move illegal and called it “annexation”. Ukraine continues to consider the Peninsula part of its territory.