MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - The G8 member states have never had any disputes over Russia's assuming the presidency of the informal group of the world's leading industrialized nations in 2006, Russian presidential aide Igor Shuvalov said.
"The group made a decision that Russia would assume the G8 presidency in 2006 on the initiative of [German Chancellor Gerhard] Schroeder and [French President Jacques] Chirac. No one has ever disputed this decision," Shuvalov said.
"Journalists have written a great deal about this matter, and the U.S. Senate is very concerned about it," the aide said. "But we are calm about it."
He also said that the G8 partners had asked Russia to prepare thoroughly for the presidency.
"There were certain claims against Great Britain," Shuvalov said. "We understand that Britain had to use some resources for the election campaign. Some issues were not duly prepared." He said a meeting of the prime ministers' representatives, known as sherpas, had been postponed due to the elections in May.
"We have already been preparing for the presidency for several months," Shuvalov said, before adding that Russia had already outlined the concept and agenda it would promote.