19 June 2012, 21:17

15 years in G8

15 years in G8
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Fifteen years ago, the G7 or the Group of Seven most developed nations was transformed into the G8. It happened at the Denver summit in the Untied States in June, 1997.

The summit’s final communiqué started with the words: “We, the participants in the Denver summit of the Eight…”, thereby confirming that Russia became a full-fledged member of the elite club of nations.

The Russia-G7 relationship had begun a few years before Denver when Russia’s first President Boris Yeltsin was invited to attend the Munich, Tokyo and Naples summits. In Denver, Yeltsin was given the honor of opening the debates.

Grigory Trofimchuk, Vice President of the Center for Strategic Development Planning, believes that Russia’s accession to the G7 influenced its further development.

"The Denver summit bolstered Russia’s standing among the world’s leading nations. From that moment, it adjusted its development to the G8 format. The progress Russia has made over the past 15 years owes in part to the recognition of its status and its membership in leading international blocs. What’s more, the country has fully repaid all the debts borrowed by its first post-Soviet administrations."

In 2006, Russia took over the G8 presidency during which it concentrated on international security, counterterrorism struggle, nuclear power generation and other important issues. And it still has a significant say in them, remarks analyst Alexander Tsipko.

"Russia has firmly asserted itself as a global player. It became clear that irrespective of the level of economic development, Russia’s position is vital in global political matters where the interests of many countries intersect. The current situation around Syria and Iran shows that our country knows how to address the differences between leading nations and is capable of playing a key part in solving complicated tasks. The main thing that has been done is that we have restored the status of Russia as a major player in world politics on whom a lot depends – and that gives its G8 membership a solid footing."

In two years, Russia will again be presiding over the G8. It must think over the initiatives it will put on the G8 agenda.

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