Russia says expanded G7 summit without China a 'flawed idea'
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 04 July 2020 2:57 PM
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says Moscow is not in talks with the United States about its potential role at a summit of the Group of Seven (G7) scheduled to be held this summer.
Ryabkov made the comments during an interview with TASS news agency on Saturday, stressing that China should also be included in the expanded G7 summit initiative.
Back in May, US President Donald Trump proposed that the current format of the group of seven advanced economies in the world is "outdated" and that it should be expanded so that it could include other countries, such as India, Australia, South Korea and Russia.
On Friday, John Sullivan, the US Ambassador to Russia, also said in an interview with RBC TV that Washington had been "engaged with the Russian Foreign Ministry and with the other G7 governments about whether there is an appropriate role for Russia at the G7."
Ryabkov's comments were apparently made in response to those of the US envoy.
Russia had been part of the group, then known as the G8, since 1997. However, in March 2014, it was suspended by G7 member states from the group after people in the Crimean Peninsula overwhelmingly voted in favor of the territory's rejoining the Russian Federation.
Ukraine and the Western countries accused Moscow of annexing Crimea, an allegation rejected by the Kremlin.
After the suspension, Moscow in January 2017 decided to permanently exit the G8. It was confirmed in June 2018.
Other G7 member states, including Canada and France, have already expressed their opposition to Russia's return, however.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ryabkov said leaving China out of an expanded G7 summit would make it impossible to discuss international issues.
"The idea of this so-called extended G7 is flawed because it's not clear how the authors of this initiative to address the Chinese factor," he said. "Without China it's simply impossible to discuss any issues in the modern world."
The US and China are at odds over a number of issues, including human rights, trade, and the origin and response to the new coronavirus.
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