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BERLIN, June 1. /TASS/. Former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt said he believed a summit of the Group of Seven industrial powers this weekend was not likely to produce the expected results without Russia’s participation.
In an interview with DPA news agency, published on Monday, 96-year-old Schmidt said that against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, he would be satisfied if Western leaders at least refrained from "adding fuel to the fire".
Schmidt, ruling from 1974 to 1982, noted that if the West had sent an invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the G7 summit, hosted by Germany, "in due form", he would have accepted it.
Leaders from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan will meet at the Elmau castle in Bavaria on June 7-8.
Russia joined the G7 in 1997, making it the G8 and marking a milestone in Moscow’s rapprochement with the West after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But the country was expelled from the group last year in protest against Moscow supporting the referendum in Crimea, where the majority of people voted for secession from Ukraine and for joining Russia.
Leaders of the G7 nations then refused to participate at a G8 meeting in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.