The Russian Federation has announced its intention to permanently walk away from the G8 inter-governmental political forum of the world′s major highly industrialized economies which brings together the world’s richest countries to discuss global issues from economic growth to terrorism, according to The Independent.
Russia was added to the political forum from 1997 and in 2014 it was temporarily suspended from the bloc over the illegal annexation of Crimea.
The next meeting of the G7 will take place in Italy on 26 May, 2017.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia had no intention of re-joining the influential bloc.
“Russia’s involvement in the G8 was not being discussed in Moscow in any way”, the Russian official said.
USA President Barack Obama’s security adviser said there was “no need for the G7 to engage with Russia” while the Russian Federation continued to violate international law.
Dmitry Peskov said Vladimir Putin’s priority was now the G20 – a much wider group of countries which includes emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico as well as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
“We’ve not heard the heads of state that keep gathering for G7 meetings ever say anything that might sound like an intention to invite Russia or some other countries.”
“As far as Russia is concerned, regardless of any eventual proposals and invitations, Russia’s priority is participation in the G20.”
“The Russian president has said this more than once,” underlined Dmitry Peskov.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev went further and suggested the G7 and G8 were now defunct political organisations.
“The G20 format actually replaced the G7 and G8 groups,” he said. “It is clear what this Group of Seven means without other major economies. Nothing.”
Russian Prime Minister also hinted that Russia may try and forge new links with other nations that may exclude the traditional Western power brokers.
“We are determined to develop international trade, establish our own value chains and be more actively involved in international business alliances and agreements,” Medvedev said.
Italy’s foreign minister attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone earlier in the week, saying he hoped Russia would soon re-join the G8. Including Russia in the bloc would reduce East-West tensions and help end “the atmosphere of the Cold War”, Angelino Aliano said.