16:28 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Sahra Wagenknecht

    German MP: Russia's Exclusion From G8 'Wrong From Very Beginning'

    © AFP 2019 / CLEMENS BILAN
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    Vice President of the German Left Party Sahra Wagenknecht called for Russia's return to the group of eight leading industrialized nations, saying that important political decisions on the global stage can't be made without Moscow's participation.

    According to the German politician, the exclusion of Russia from the group has been a big mistake from the very beginning.

    "From the very outset it was a mistake to exclude Russia. In Syria we see that there are no political solutions without Russia, Wagenknecht told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. "The more one isolates Russia, the greater is the risk that conflicts escalate," she added.

    Following Crimea's reunification with Russia and the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, Moscow walked out of the group, as the West accused it of fueling the conflict in its neighboring country — a claim that the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.

    According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Moscow "does not cling to the G8 format."

    "The G8 is an informal club, there are no membership cards there, so no one can be expelled by definition," he said. "When our Western partners believe that this format outlived itself, then so be it. We do not cling to it," he added.

    The group currently includes Germany, the US, Canada, Japan, France, Britain and Italy.

    A number of European politicians have repeatedly called for Russia's return to the G8. Earlier German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Russia may be able to rejoin the G8 if it continues to cooperate with the West on the resolution of the Syrian and Ukrainian crises.

    Related:

    Steinmeier: Russia May Rejoin G8 if Continues Cooperation on Syria, Ukraine
    Germany Pays High Price for Russia's G8 Suspension
    Putin is Convinced Canada Will Change Its G8 Stance if US Says So
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    G8, Sahra Wagenknecht, Germany, Russia
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