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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman downplays talk of G8 format revival

April 12, 2017, 1:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Maria Zakharova described the rumors as "some kind of cheap speculation"

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, has downplayed the ongoing rhetoric about the possible return to the G8 format of international negotiations.

In an interview with Russia’s Vesti FM radio, Maria Zakharova said the issue of resuming talks in the G8 format was voiced only by representatives "of the opposite side" and described it as "some kind of cheap speculations."

"If they [G7 members] make any decision [on G8 format revival] - then it will be considered [by Moscow]. If not, then why talking about it? Their words are not followed by any kind of actions," the spokeswoman said.

The G8 format of negotiations was created in 1997, when Russia joined the Group of Seven industrialized nations [G7] - the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, the US, France and Japan.

Moscow discontinued its participation in the meetings that bring together the leaders of the world’s leading powers due to tensions in relations with the West over the Ukrainian crisis and Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

On May 26-27, the Italian city of Taormina will host the G7 summit. During his speech at the Atlantic Council last month, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano expressed hope that the upcoming meeting in Italy will be "the last G7 summit" followed by the revival of the G8 format.

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