BRUSSELS, April 24. /TASS/. The Group of Seven (G7) is rapidly losing its significance without Moscow’s participation, Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told the EURACTIV European media network.
"I will make a bold statement saying that in the absence of the G8, the G7 is increasingly irrelevant," the diplomat asserted.
According to Chizhov, major global issues are currently handled by the G20. "So even if the G7 today decides to re-instate the G8 and re-invite Russia, we’ll think twice about whether to join," he vowed.
Canada currently holds the G7 presidency in 2018. It will host the G7 summit in summer, which will be held in Quebec on June 8-9.
The G7 is an informal association of industrialized nations, which includes the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, the US, France and Japan. Its major stated goals are searching for solutions to global political and social problems.
The forum existed as the G7 from 1976 to 1997. Then Russian President Boris Yeltsin was invited to the G7 summit in Naples as an equal partner in 1994. From then on, all meetings were held in the G8 format.
Russia assumed the G8’s chairmanship in 2014, the group’s summit was expected to be held in Sochi. However, because of the events in Ukraine and the tense relations between Russia and the West over Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the meeting was held in Brussels without Russia’s participation, and the forum decided to return to the previous G7 format.