Steinmeier calls for returning Russia to G8

German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has spoken out in favor of inviting Russia to a meeting of the world’s most developed countries next year.

“The conflicts in Syria and Ukraine demonstrate our interest not to exclude Russia from close cooperation between the world’s leading economies,” the minister said in an interview posted on the website of the German Publishers Association on Aug. 31.

“If substantial progress is made in eastern Ukraine and at the talks on the ceasefire in Syria, the G7 member-countries will be able to discuss this issue with Moscow. The key to returning to the G8 is in Moscow.”

Russia joined the G7 in 1998. After it, the association came to be known as G8.

In March 2014, the organization decided to return to the G7 format over developments in Ukraine and subsequent crisis in relations between Russia and the West. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said that Moscow “does not cling to the G8 format.”