00:37 GMT +320 September 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rear left, and and U.S. President Donald Trump, rear third left, attend a round table meeting of G7 leaders and Outreach partners at the Hotel San Domenico during a G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, Saturday, May 27, 2017

    Canada Against Returning to G8 Format by Inviting Russia Back

    © AP Photo / Domenico Stinellis
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Canada opposes Russia’s return to G7, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday, citing an anonymous Canadian official.

    "Russia was not invited to this meeting and the prime minister’s position, Canada’s position, remains the same as last year when this came up as well. The answer was no," the official said, quoted by Reuters.

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump agreed to a proposal by French President Emmanuel Macron to invite Russia to the 2020 G7 summit in the United States.

    Previously, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s officials expressed the desire to engage in dialogue with Moscow, not ruling out reinstating G8 by bringing Russia back.

    The G8 format was established in 1998 but was reduced to G7 after Russia was expelled in 2014 after it was accused of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs in the wake of Crimea's reunification with Russia and the eruption of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia has refuted the accusations, stressing that Crimea rejoined it following a legitimate referendum.

    The G7 is now composed of the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada. Its annual summit will be held in Biarritz from August 24-26.

    G8 summit, G7 Summit, Russia, Canada
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