Question: What is your attitude regarding the discourse in some Western capitals on the “terms” for Russia’s return to the G8?
Maria Zakharova: Lately, we’ve often heard statements about certain “criteria” for Russia’s return to the G8. Until recently, the requirements amounted to “complete fulfilment” of the Minsk Package of Measures on settling the Ukrainian crisis, although this is primarily the responsibility of the Kiev authorities. Now new requirements are being added: Russia is supposed to conform to certain conditions in connection with the developments in Syria and even Libya.
The way this issue is raised is obviously absurd. The G8 ceased to exist at the desire of our Western partners, who opted to search for instruments of unilateral pressure on Russia in connection with Ukraine’s deep crisis, which they provoked themselves. A tangible reduction in the international weight of the Western G7 was a consequence of this decision. As a result, the process of the joint elaboration of responses to current challenges largely shifted to other multilateral formats with full-fledged participation of Russia and other leading global players.
The current attempts to make Russia pay for restoring the G8 format are absolutely groundless.
Needless to say, Russia is not going to renounce contacts, dialogue and joint work with the countries of the European Union, the United States and Japan. This applies, in part, to the crisis zones, the spreading of which in the Middle East and North Africa is largely due to the short-sighted actions of Western countries that are trying to use geopolitical scheming in the Arab world. Thus, we continue to vigorously promote peaceful settlement in Syria. We hope for cooperation with our Western colleagues on the basis of equality and mutual respect, with reliance on international law and without double standards and attempts to shift the blame on others.