The possibility of returning Russia to G8: Zelenskyi pointed the conditions
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi has said that the return of Crimea to Ukraine, the cessation of hostilities in Donbas and the release of political prisoners and captured sailors will be a signal of Russia’s readiness to return to the G8. President posted his comment on Facebook.
“Since March 2014, after the suspension of Russia’s participation in the G8, nothing has changed. The Ukrainian Crimea is now occupied, the Ukrainian Donbas is still suffering from the war”, – Zelenskyi admitted.
He stressed that the return of occupied Crimea, the cessation of hostilities in Donbas and the release of more than 100 political prisoners and Ukrainian sailors held by the Kremlin, will be a real serious signal to the world that Russia is ready to once again take its place on the agenda of high diplomacy.
In addition, he expressed gratitude to those countries that continue supporting Ukraine in defending its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The return of Russia to G8 supported the U.S. President Donald Trump. He told that it would be “much more appropriate” for Russia to rejoin the G7, making it the G8 again.
“Because Putin outsmarted him, President [Barack] Obama thought it wasn’t a good thing to have Russia in, so he wanted Russia out”. – he said. “It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talked about have to do with Russia. So, I could certainly it being the G8 again, and if somebody would make that motion I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably”.
French diplomatists said that Russia’s return to the Great-7 Group would depend on the progress in negotiations with Ukraine related to the Donbas conflict settlement.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on this possibility, said that Russia was removed from the G8 format for “certain reasons.” According to her, there is “an easy movement in the implementation of the Minsk process” in the Donbass. At the same time, she added that “if we really moved forward, there would be a new situation.”
In turn, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the arguments in favor of the return of Russia to the G8 haven’t been found yet. He said that he takes into account the incident with the poisoning of former GRU employee Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia in British Salisbury, “the ongoing instability, military operations in Ukraine, provocations that Russia carries out not only in Ukraine, but many more where.”
“I have to say that I completely agree with Chancellor Merkel and I believe that the arguments in favor of the return of Russia to the G8 have yet to be found”, the British prime minister said.
Russia has repeatedly stressed that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and acts as a mediator in resolving the situation.
Russia was expelled from the G8 club after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.