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    (L to R) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Barack Obama, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Francois Hollande, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker take part in a tree planting ceremony on the grounds at Ise-Jingu Shrine in the city of Ise in Mie prefecture, on May 26, 2016 on the first day of the G7 leaders summit

    Kremlin Unaware of Reported Intentions of Italian Gov't to Invite Putin to G7

    © AFP 2017/ STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN
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    The Kremlin is unaware of the reported intentions of the Italian government to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the G7 summit in May, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – In December, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said that Russia would return to the work of such international forums as the Group of Seven (G7), when asked whether Rome was planning to invite Putin to attend the next G7 summit in May 2017 in Italy.

    "We know nothing of this, and there have been no statements from the Italian government. The position of the Russian government in relation to the ‘seven’ and the feasibility of participation in this format is well-known," Peskov told reporters.

    The G7, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, was joined by Russia in 1998. Moscow's accession to the group of major economies turned the G7 into the Group of Eight (G8).

    In 2014, the G8 members refused to come to the Russian southwestern city of Sochi, venue of the G8 regular summit, citing disagreements over the Ukrainian crisis, and have been meeting in the seven-state format since then.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said that Moscow does not intend to take any steps to get back to the G8 group. Earlier in January, Peskov said that the issue of restoration of the G8 format with Russia’s participation was not under discussion in Moscow and Russia prioritized work in the G20 format.

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