Berlin opposes the return of the G8 format with the participation of Russia. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said this in an interview with the Rheinische Post. According to him, the expansion of the current G7 format will become possible only after the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine, as well as the situation with Crimea, are resolved.

“We cannot just agree that borders in Europe are changing in the 21st century. If we are talking about resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine, then the issue of Crimea should also be discussed, ”he said.

"Until this issue is resolved, I do not see the possibility of inviting Russia," added Maas.

The head of the German Foreign Ministry also reacted negatively to the idea of ​​US President Donald Trump to invite three more states (South Korea, Australia and India) to the G7 summit, which will be held in the United States, in addition to Russia.

“We don't need G11 or G12,” he noted, recalling the existence of the G20.

In addition, Heiko Maas spoke flatteringly about his colleague Sergei Lavrov. He called the Russian Foreign Minister "a very experienced" diplomat with whom one can always "find an acceptable solution", despite the fact that he consistently defends the interests of the Russian side.

Anton Morozov, a member of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, noted that the G7 format, after the exclusion of Russia, began to degrade and lose its important geopolitical significance.

“I believe that it is the rest of the participants who need Russia to return to this format. There are enough other formats for us to implement our foreign policy concept and participate in international organizations: these are the UN, the OSCE, and many other multilateral formats, where we effectively participate, "the parliamentarian said in an interview with RT.

In turn, Sergei Tsekov, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, stressed that the head of the German Foreign Ministry noted a standard phrase regarding Russia in the context of the West's support for Ukraine.

“At the same time, everyone understands that Russia is not asking for the G7, and is not trying to turn it into a G7. The G20 is already coming to the fore. This statement is not original. If they adhere to this direction all the time, then neither the EU nor the world community will receive any development. They must seriously understand the situation with Crimea, the situation in Ukraine and work out solutions that would allow them to get as close as possible to Russia, "the interlocutor of RT explained.

Moscow has repeatedly noted that Russia is not a party to the conflict in the Donbass.

Note that on Monday, July 27, a comprehensive ceasefire begins to operate in the south-east of Ukraine. Such agreements were reached within the framework of the trilateral contact group in Minsk.

Also, Russian officials emphasized that the issue of Crimea, which became a Russian region after the referendum in March 2014, is closed.

“The President of Russia has repeatedly stated and explained to his interlocutors that there cannot and will never be such an issue as Crimea on the agenda, because Crimea is an integral part of Russia,” said the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov.

Russia and the G7

The issue of inviting Russia to the G7 summit in 2020 was raised at last year's meeting of the leaders of the G7 countries, which was held in the French city of Biarritz from August 24 to 26. As the media noted then, the head of the White House Donald Trump and the Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte spoke out in support of Moscow's return to this format, while the head of the Japanese government, Shinzo Abe, adhered to neutrality, and the rest spoke out against.

At the same time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also drew attention to the fact that Russia's invitation depends on progress on the situation in Donbass.

“On behalf of Germany, I made it clear that we need progress in the implementation of Minsk in order to restart negotiations on Russia's participation in the G7 format,” she said.

  • Leaders of the G7 countries during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France
  • Reuters
  • © Ian Langsdon

Meanwhile, this year the American leader reiterated the need to expand the G7, as he considers this format to be outdated. The Russian Foreign Ministry agreed with this position, pointing out that it is impossible to resolve issues of world politics and economics "within the exclusive clubs of Western countries."

“It is obvious, for example, that it is hardly possible to realize serious undertakings of global significance without China’s participation,” said Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, recalling the “well-proven format” of the G20, where both the G7 and the BRICS are represented.

The press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov also noted that for the Kremlin it is not an end in itself to return to the former G8.

“It's not that Russia is striving for the G7, but the attitude is important here. The issue that Maas sees as an obstacle is the issue of the Ukrainian crisis, it is not the result of Russian activities. As for the format of the seven ”, this is an additional, important opportunity to discuss such issues. The format itself assumes an exchange of views, so the refusal to do so can be regarded as a reluctance to resolve these issues objectively, "said Vladimir Olenchenko, senior researcher at the Center for European Studies at the IMEMO RAS.