MOSCOW, January 30, (ITAR-TASS). A high-ranking Russian diplomat has presented Moscow’s proposals on the priorities of the Group of Eight (G8) largest economies in 2014 and on events scheduled during Russia’s G8 presidency to his counterparts, the Foreign Ministry reported on its website.
Russia assumed the G8 presidency on January 1, 2014. The G8 consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Sergei Ryabkov, who is a Russian deputy foreign minister and the G8 political director from the Russian side, met with the other G8 member countries’ political directors in Moscow on January 28-29 in what was their first conference during Russia’s presidency.
“The sides… exchanged opinions on a wide range of urgent problems on the international agenda, including prevention and settlement of conflicts,” the Russian ministry said.
The discussions also focused on efforts to strengthen international antidrug cooperation, first of all regarding the problem of Afghan drugs, the fight against international terrorism and efforts to counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The importance of counteraction to extremism was stressed at the meeting, the statement also said.
Russia presented a program of events in the sphere of the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism to be held during Russia’s presidency.
Besides, the meeting participants discussed a number of urgent regional problems.
“A frank conversation took place on the situation around the Iranian nuclear program and the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” the ministry said, adding that the sides also exchanged opinions on the developments in the Middle East and North Africa and on implementation of programs of the Deauville Partnership with Arab countries in transition, the ministry said.
Ryabkov also held a number of separate meetings with the political directors from France, Germany, Canada and Britain.
The motto of Russia's G8 Presidency in 2014 is: "Risk Management for Sustainable Growth in a Safe World." Moscow chose five priority directions: antidrug cooperation, the fight against terrorism, settlement of conflicts, establishment of a global risk management system for natural and man-caused disasters and global health security.
Preparatory work for G8 summits is coordinated by sherpas - personal representatives of the heads of state and government, who unite national teams around themselves.
The teams comprise political directors who deal with foreign policy issues addressed by foreign ministries, foreign policy sous-sherpas who are in charge of international issues, mainly social-economic and humanitarian ones, and who help sherpas to develop G8 presidency priorities and agree positions, as well as financial sous-sherpas in charge of the financial and economic issues.
Representatives of nongovernmental groups of eight, including Youth, Civil, Business and Parliamentary Eights, are called upon to render support to Russia’s presidency through working out decisions for the G8 during 2014.
The G8 summit this year will be held on June 4-5 in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.