MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Each calendar year, the presidency rotates among the member states of the group, granting the country hosting the G7 annual summit, the responsibility to set the agenda, arrange logistics and work out policy initiatives at the ministerial meetings, preceding the summit.
On Thursday, Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy will use its G7 chairmanship to foster relations with Russia.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Group of Eight (G8) and G7 formats largely exhausted their international authority, adding that Russia preferred G20 format to discuss the most pressing issues. Lavrov has repeatedly said that Moscow does not intend to take any steps to get back to the G8 group.
The G7, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, was joined by Russia in 1998.
In 2014, the Group of Eight members refused to come to the Russian city of Sochi, venue of G8 regular summit, citing disagreements over the Ukrainian crisis and have been meeting in seven-state format since then.
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