00:35 GMT16 January 2021
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    Cooperation between Russia and the US is decreasing and the latest G7 summit proves this, Alexei Pushkov said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The number of formats for cooperation between Western nations and Moscow is shrinking, Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the lower house of Russia's parliament, said Thursday, commenting on Russia's absence at the recent G7 summit in Germany.

    The G7 format was previously known as G8, when it included Moscow. However, Russia was expelled from the group in 2014, as the West accused the country of involvement in Ukraine's internal affairs, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    "The West is isolating itself… The G7 is yet another Western alliance… a club of friends of the United States," Pushkov told reporters in Moscow, echoing Wednesday's words of President Vladimir Putin, who referred to the group as a "hobby club."

    The United States used the G8 as an instrument of pressure on Russia, and without Moscow's participation this ability no longer exists, Pushkov added.

    Allegations of Russia's involvement in the Ukraine conflict prompted EU leaders to deprive Moscow of its voting rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in spring 2014, leading to Russia to suspend participation in the PACE sessions.

    Pushkov noted that the Russian delegation would continue refraining from participation in the Assembly, if it was stripped of its voting powers once again next January.

    The Russian lawmaker underscored that the decline in the number of formats for Russia-West cooperation makes alternatives like BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) increasingly important, adding that the center of the global economy is shifting to the East along with Russian interests.

    According to Pushkov, the global financial system will soon be reformed, as BRICS countries, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, will eventually surpass the G7 states in combined GDP.

    Worsening relations with the West over the last year have pushed Russia to increase its cooperation with BRICS members and with countries in Latin America and Asia.

    Russia will host the upcoming BRICS and SCO summits in the city of Ufa, where issues of partnership will top the agenda.

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    Tags:
    Shanghai Cooperation Organization, European Union, Brazil, geopolitics, double-standards, G7 Summit 2015, BRICS, PACE, Alexei Pushkov, South Africa, India, China, Ukraine, US, Russia
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