MOSCOW, March 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kremlin believes that the unwillingness of the Group of Eight (G8) member countries to continue cooperation with Russia on the G8 agenda is counterproductive, Russian president’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass.
“As for the contacts with the G8 countries, we are ready for them, we are interested in them, but the unwillingness of other countries to continue the dialogue, in our view, is counterproductive both for us and our partners,” he said.
Peskov recalled that in terms of the content, Russia’s presidency in the Group of Eight involves the work on a whole range of spheres and hundreds of events at various levels - from the expert to ministerial and highest levels. “To all appearances, part of them will be wound down,” the press secretary noted.
“However, this will not be done regarding contacts with the countries that are willing to continue the dialogue - interaction with them will be certainly continued,” he emphasised.
Peskov cited as an example the current events within the framework of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) that are aimed at the settlement of issues related to combating drug trafficking. “It’s a very large co-operation volume that is important for various countries of the world,” he said. “It’s absurd to refuse from this co-operation at a time when many countries suffer from this problem,” the Russian presidential press secretary believes.
“Russia will be ready to continue the dialogue with the countries that are ready for that, in order not to hamper mutually advantageous interaction in important spheres,” Peskov stressed.
Leaders of the Group of Seven have suspended participation of their respective countries in the Group of Eight. Among them leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US. The G7 leaders claim that “this Group came together because of share beliefs and shared responsibilities” but “Russia’s actions in recent weeks” (support for the Crimeans’ referendum on self-determination and reunification with Russia) allegedly are not consistent with them.
The G8 is an informal club of countries and it has never written out any membership certificates, and that’s why no one can expel anyone else from it exactly for this reason. The G8’s mission is over, and many people do think it is, because all the economic and financial problems are now discussed in the Group of Twenty since the emergence of the latter group. Sergei Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister