MOSCOW, August 22. /TASS/. Moscow expects Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to send signals in real life instead of social media, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook on Thursday.
"As for signals, they are expected of you, though not on social media but in real life," she said, commenting on the Ukrainian president’s statement that Russia could return to the G8 and take its place "on the agenda of high diplomacy" once Crimea became part of Ukraine again and the conflict in Donbass ended. Zelensky also said that Russia had to send serious signals for peace.
Zakharova pointed out that if "high diplomacy" referred to international platforms and forums, including the United Nations Security Council, "then Russia takes part in outlining and implementing the global political agenda." The Russian diplomat added that "a UN Security Council’s resolution approved the Minsk Agreements" so Ukraine "is obliged to comply with them."
Russia and G7
US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that "it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in" [the G8]. According to a senior US administration official cited by CNN, Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron held a telephone conversation on Tuesday and agreed that the Russian president should be invited to the G7 summit in 2020. According to CNN, Trump plans to broach the topic at a G7 summit scheduled to take place in Biarritz, France, on August 24-26.
The G7 is a group of industrialized nations that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The group was renamed the G8 in 1997 when Russia joined the club. However, following the 2014 events in Ukraine that created a crisis in relations between Russia and the West, the group’s western members decided to revert to the G7 model.
On August 21, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was ready to consider initiatives concerning the revival of the G8 platform if the G7 countries put any forward.
Lavrov pointed out that earlier in the week, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said at a joint press conference with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that the G8 did not exist. "There is the G7 group, its members make decisions among them. If any of the decisions they make suggests sending a message to Russia, we will consider it and respond to it," the Russian top diplomat said when asked about the possibility of restoring the G8.