Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the Group of Seven (G-7), favored the return of Russia to the summit, which would once again make the group the G8, Corriere della Sera reported.
The G-7 summit will take place on May 26th-27th, in Taormina. The number of the forum members hasn’t been confirmed yet. However, according to the edition, the Italian authorities are discussing Russia’s participation in this forum.
This issue was also raised at the meeting between the Head of the Italian Council of Ministers, Paolo Gentiloni, and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, in Berlin. Meanwhile, Berlin opposed the return of Russia to the G-8 due to the lack of progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements concerning Ukraine.
The parties decided to postpone the discussion of this issue until Donald Trump takes his first steps as the U.S. President. His inauguration will take place on January 20th.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Kremlin is unaware of Vladimir Putin’s possible invitation to the G-7 summit. “The position of the Russian government in relation to the Group of Seven and the feasibility of participation in this format is well-known,” Peskov added.
It has to be noted that Italy took over the presidency of the G-7 on January 1st, 2017. Shortly after, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Angelino Alfano, expressed his intention to restore the G-7 to a G-8 format. The Italian Minister also reported that he expects the leaders of the G-7 countries, to discuss the maintenance of sanctions against the Russian Federation at the summit in May.