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Russia and EU must recover their relations without preconditions, says PM

The G8 is unable to make decisions on global issues, the Russian PM stated
Prime Minister of Slovenia Marjan Sarec and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS
Prime Minister of Slovenia Marjan Sarec and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
© Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS

MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Relations between Russia and the EU are "at zero level" and they need to be recovered without any preconditions, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated on the outcomes of the talks with his Slovenian colleague Marjan Sarec.

"The relations between Russia and the European Union are currently "at zero level." Of course, we can survive without them, developing bilateral relations, namely with our friends from Slovenia and with many other European countries, however, this is not normal," Medvedev said. "We shall see whether the new leadership of the European Commission implements any measures to normalize them, but there should not be any preconditions," the Russian PM stressed.

Medvedev recalled that Moscow did not initiate the deterioration of relations between Russia and the EU. "We were not the ones to destroy them [relations], and we should not be the ones to recover them. If they want to recover them, we will do it," he stated. "I have reiterated this to the current leadership of the EU, because without [the relations], it is difficult to have full-fledged dialogue," the Russian head of government said.

Cooperation with Slovenia

Russia will look for an opportunity to expand its companies’ participation in large-scale projects for the development of the infrastructure in Slovenia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated after talks with his Slovenian counterpart Marjan Sarec.

"There are examples of quite serious investments by Russian investors. I mean investments by an industrial and metallurgical holding, Sberbank. We agreed to increase attention to these investments and look for opportunities to participate in larger projects, including Slovenian infrastructure," Medvedev said.

The Russian Prime Minister states that there are "very good, close contacts" between the business community of both countries.

"It's great that a representative delegation of entrepreneurs accompanies my Slovenian colleague in Moscow. It is obvious that the government should create conditions, manage these processes, and agreements must be signed between the business communities [of the two states]," he added.

The Russian Prime Minister expressed hope that eventually new bilateral agreements will be concluded.

Role of G8

If Russia receives an invitation to restore the G8, it may be considered, but this club will be unable to make decisions on global issues anyway, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted.

"If there is an invitation, possibly, the invitation may be studied, but I would like to point out that in the modern world such clubs having a limited number of participants are unable to make decisions of considerable importance for the development of humanity and the solution of global issues on the agenda," Medvedev said.

The head of the Russian government also branded the previously existed G8 club as peculiar. "I took part in them [G8 summits] on a number of occasions. I’ll say this — we were never truly accepted in the G8. When discussions touched upon economic issues our partners were telling us to wait a little bit while the seven of them talk and then Russia would be invited to join," he said.

The Russian prime minister pointed out that the G8 was a forum to debate political challenges and various problems in private, "not a useless forum, possibly." "But I can say that even 11 years ago when I first attended a G8 summit it was clear that the club lacks legitimacy as other countries were involved to join on different bases, an outreach basis, including China, India and other states, without which it is practically impossible to consider items on the international agenda today," he added.

Medvedev underlined that when the G20 emerged it became clear that "the majority of burning global issues can be considered at this forum but still not all of them because other countries are not represented in the G20. Moreover, he underscored that there are other universal forums such as the UN and various security summits. "In other words, I would not blow this current club [G7] out of proportion. It is perfectly clear that the group discusses mostly local issues, which are likely to be discussed with interested parties, probably just like before," he stressed.

The head of the Russian government branded statements made by a number of countries on Russia’s possible return to the G8 "if Russia redeems itself" as strange. "I think that US President Donald Trump said the right thing that Russia needs to be asked first whether it needs that at all. Naturally, we support the idea of talking at different forums. We need to meet in different circumstances and hash over all the existing issues as open-ended as it can possibly be," he concluded.