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Ukraine's president makes bold statement on Moscow’s possible return to G8 — diplomat

"Professionals should do things they are trained to do," the Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman stated
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky Anna Marchenko/TASS
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky
© Anna Marchenko/TASS

PYATIGORSK /Stavropol Region/, August 22. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky makes bold statements on international affairs while he doesn’t have enough understanding of these matters, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, commenting on Zelensky’s remark that Russia could return to the G8 once Crimea reunited with Ukraine and the conflict in Donbass ended.

"I was really surprised to see the Ukrainian president boldly engage in the discussion of matters that require a deep understanding of developments," Zakharova said at a briefing. She pointed out that it was difficult to figure out how the system of international relations operated in just one day. "We understand very well that the field where the Ukrainian president was active before has an international aspect, though of another sort," the diplomat added.

She explained that before making such statements, Zelensky should have held "consultations with experts… who do understand what is going on." "Professionals should do things they are trained to do and if one is incompetent in some areas, it is better to ask for expert assistance," the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman noted.

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.

Russia’s position

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 come forward with any.

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 themselves. 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 replied to a question about the possibility of restoring the G8.