G8 format still exists despite rift over Ukraine - Italian FM
"The G8 format still exists, although it is difficult to negotiate until the level of tension between Moscow and Kiev is minimized," she said. The Minister stressed the need to continue the dialogue.
The leaders of the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan met Monday in the Hague. As a result, the parties issued a final statement - the G7 is ready "to intensify actions against Russia, including the possible introduction of coordinated economic sanctions coordinated by sector, which will have a significant impact on the Russian economy, if Russia continues to escalate the situation."
The statement also stressed the decision of the G7 to hold the June summit without Russia and in Brussels, rather than in Sochi. It was also confirmed that Ukraine can expect the Western aid only if the country meets the requirements of the IMF.
The leaders of the Group of Seven could not figure out a way to suspend Russia's membership in the Group of Eight, as such a procedure does not exist. As a result, in the final statement the G7 members announced that they "suspended their own participation" in the G8.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov chose not to dramatize the situation. "If our Western partners believe that this format has outlived its usefulness, then so be it. We do not cling to it. Neither we consider it a problem, if there would be no more meetings. Maybe as an experiment, we can wait for about a year and a half, to see how we fare without it," he said.
Many believe that the G8 is no longer efficient, since all economic and financial issues can be discussed during the G20 sessions.
Voice of Russia,