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Tokyo says issue of Russia’s participation in G7 summit in 2016 ‘undecided yet’

June 23, 2015, 8:57 UTC+3 TOKYO
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier Russia was "not clinging to the G8 format"
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G7 summit in Germany

G7 summit in Germany

© EPA/KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND/POOL

TOKYO, June 23. /TASS/. The question of inviting Russia for the summit of the Group of Seven (G7) industrial nations, due to be held in Japan next year, is undecided yet, a Japanese top government spokesman told reporters on Tuesday.

"This is yet a clean sheet of paper," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, adding that the summit will be held on May 26-27 in the Japanese city of Shima.

"Such a decision is based on adjusting the schedules of leaders of seven countries. We will do utmost for the success of the summit," he said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a press conference in Munich after the G7 summit in Germany’s Bavaria that it was early to speak whether the leaders will meet next year in the previous G8 format, involving Russia, "taking into consideration the situation in Ukraine."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier Russia was "not clinging to the G8 format." "The G8 is an informal club, no one issues membership cards, no one may expel anyone from there by definition. If our Western partners believe the format is outdated, let it be like that. We are not clinging to it," he said.

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