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G7 Leaders Discussed Possible Return to G8 Format With Russia's Participation - Reports

© REUTERS / SERGIO PEREZFrench policemen stand guard near the Grande Plage beach ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 22, 2019.
French policemen stand guard near the Grande Plage beach ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, August 22, 2019. - Sputnik International
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TOKYO (Sputnik) - Leaders of G7 countries discussed possible return to the G8 format with the participation of Russia on the first day of a summit in the French city of Biarritz, the Kyodo agency reported on Sunday, citing sources in the Japanese government.

The exact content of the conversation is undisclosed, the agency’s sources said.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump agreed to French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to invite Russia to the 2020 G7 summit in the United States. Trump also said that Russia should return to what used to be G8. While some countries, like Japan, are open to the idea, others, like Canada, remain stridently opposed to it. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this week that his country saw any form of dialogue with G7 nations as useful.

The G8 format had been in place from 1998-2014 but was reduced to the G7 due to disagreements with Russia regarding the events in Crimea and Ukraine. The G7 has accused Moscow of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic affairs and introduced sanctions on Russia as a result. Recently, more and more members of the Western political establishment have begun questioning the wisdom of antagonizing Russia and refusing mutually beneficial cooperation.

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