ROME, February 5. /TASS/. Italy, chairing the group of seven (G7), should do everything possible to return to the G8 format, featuring Russia, Italy’s former Prime Minister and former head of the European Commission Romano Prodi said in an interview Messaggero published on Sunday.
"I believe, the task of Italy as chair of G7 is to do everything possible to return to the G8 format featuring Russia," he said. "The main reason is it is absolutely necessary to take positions regarding Russia before (the U.S. President) Donald Trump does so."
He said, the task is not easy, as "it is necessary to realize whether (the Russian leader) Vladimir Putin would accept an invitation without the condition of lifting the anti-Russian sanctions, which expire in July."
"It is equally important whether it would be possible to mind political changes for Germany and France, which fearing growing popularity of non-system parties in the election climate are top cautious, even if the reverse could be more correct," Prodi continued.
A European initiative could be not only "top required," but also "top beneficial," "opening big opportunities."
Summit of state and government leaders of the Group of Seven (the U.S., Canada, Italy, Germany, France, the UK and Japan) is due in late May in Taormina (Sicily).