18:13 Apr. 10, 2016
Steinmeier says the G7 member states could consider Russia's return to the group next year
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says he would like to see Russia's return to the G8 group of states, but it depends on the country's role in settling conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, DW reports.
Speaking before the gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) in Hiroshima, Steinmeier said he would prefer "G7 format not to stay as it is for a long time" and advised member states "to create conditions for the return to G8."
Germany's top diplomat added that Russia's come back to the Group of Eight this year is impossible.
Steinmeier stressed that the key conditions for Russia's return are the country's contribution into reaching a "political solution" to the crisis in Ukraine and the "constructive role in establishing peace in Syria."
In June 2015, Steinmeier stated that the West could not ignore Russia's violation of international law, but had no interest that the G8 format to be transformed into G7 format forever. He added that Russia's participation is required for the resolution of a number of conflicts in the regions neighbouring Europe.
Leaders from the Group of Seven States – Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - brought Russia into their exclusive club in 1998. Moscow's membership was suspended in 2014 after Russian troops invaded Ukraine's Crimea region.