LONDON, June 9. /TASS/. The statements of G7 foreign ministers about Russia, which should form the basis of the final communique of the upcoming G7 summit in England, are of a confrontational nature, Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin said on Wednesday, commenting on the summit planned for June 11-13.
“The statement that was approved [by G7 foreign ministers], and that is likely being prepared for the leaders, is of a confrontational nature against Russia, without a doubt,” the ambassador said.
The diplomat highlighted a negative attitude towards Russia from the side of the UK, which has taken on the G7 presidency this year. The G7 also includes Germany, Italy, Canada, the US, France and Japan.
“We see very well that the UK presidency is behind all this confrontation, the language of it (of the ministerial communique – TASS). The UK is using any opportunity right now to accuse Russia of everything that is wrong,” the diplomat pointed out.
Kelin stressed that this political approach of the G7 and of the UK in particular is aimed “to divide, not to unite.” “Sooner or later, the G7 leaders will have to seriously think about this confrontation and abandon it,” he added.
However, the final statement of the G7 summit may be different from the ministerial declaration. “Right now, the wording is rather standard. I am not sure that it will remain in the statement of the heads of state in the same form as it was documented in the statement of foreign ministers. After all, the ministers have more freedom to choose,” he stated.
What the ministers said
A significant part of the communique approved in early May by G7 foreign ministers was dedicated to Russia and China. The document noted that Russia continues to violate international law, and in this regard, the G7 members agreed to strengthen their collective potential.
The ministers also expressed concern over the deterioration of diplomatic relations with Moscow.
What hinders recovery of the G8
The ambassador explained that there are obstacles in the way of Russia’s return to the G8. “Right now, there is an objective political obstacle. We have political differences with what the G7 leaders proclaim. This is an obstacle for our return to it,” Kelin said.
The ambassador noted that although the G7 has a significant influence on global politics, at this stage, Russia prefers the G20 format. “It [the G20 format] has broader powers, a broader range, and from this point of view, it is more legitimate than the G7 states, of course,” he informed.
“The G7 is a rather old-fashioned club, whose states have a lot in common from the viewpoint of their economy, state structures, a special kind of democracy that they consider universal. However, it is not universal, each democracy is unique in its own way,” the diplomat said.
Upcoming Putin-Biden summit
Kelin also mentioned the European tour of US President Joe Biden and his participation in the G7 summit in the UK, which will be his first foreign trip since he assumed office in January 2021. The White House earlier stated that after the G7 summit, Biden will take part in the NATO meeting in Brussels on June 14, in the EU-US summit on June 15, and on June 16, he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
“The meetings held in Brussels (by Biden – TASS) with NATO and the EU will be more significant to European politics than the G7 meeting. This is Biden’s first trip, and the fact that he starts it with the UK means a lot to the special relations between the UK and the US,” Kelin said.
When asked about the upcoming Putin-Biden summit, the ambassador pointed out the consolidation of Western positions before the Geneva meeting. “They will later migrate to the NATO statement, and then to the US-EU statement. All this is within the preparations for the Geneva summit, I suppose. A consolidation of positions is underway. But we need to wait and see what the [G7] heads of state will say,” the diplomat stated.
About the G7
The club, dubbed the Group of Six, or G6, at the time, held its first session in 1975 with the participation of the UK, West Germany, Italy, the US, France and Japan. In 1976, Canada joined the informal club of states, which was renamed the G7.
In 1997, Russia joined the group, which became the G8. However, in March 2014, after the events in Ukraine and the subsequent crisis in the relations of the US and the EU with Russia, Western members of the group decided to go back to the G7 format.
This year’s summit will be the first meeting of the G7 leaders in the past two years. It will be held at the seaside resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall, UK.