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Russia's Putin wants to host a G-8 summit with China, Turkey and India

Key Points
  • Russia's president has said the country is ready to host a summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) – which it was kicked out of in 2014 – and would welcome India and China into the format.
  • Addressing an audience on Thursday, Putin said his country was ready to host a summit of the G-8 industrialized nations that Russia was suspended from for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the plenary meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, September, 5,2019.
Mikhail Svetlov | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Russia's president has said the country is ready to host a summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) – which it was kicked out of in 2014 – and would welcome India, China and Turkey into the format.

Addressing an audience on Thursday, Putin said his country was ready to host a summit of the G-8 industrialized nations that Russia was suspended from following its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"We're open to our partners, we'd be glad to welcome them in Russia if they wish to come," Putin told an audience of delegates at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok where he hosted the leaders of India and Japan.

"If you want to restore the G-8 please come and do it. I think everyone understands today, and President (Emmanuel) Macron has said recently in public that the western leadership is over. I cannot imagine an efficient international organization that works without India and without China."

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Putin said Turkey could also join the format which sees industrialized nations -- the U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – discuss pressing global matters (but not necessarily agree on how to resolve them).

"Any formats are always beneficial, this is always a positive exchange of views even when there are some debates and disputes," Putin said.

Asked if India would attend a hypothetical "G-10" summit, having just attended the last G-7 summit in Biarritz two weeks ago as a "special guest," Prime Minister Narendra Modi was coy, refusing to answer yes or no but noting that "in principle, we support a multi-polar world."

The last G-7 summit was something of an awkward affair, coming as it did amid a trade war between the U.S. and China, economic uncertainty in Europe and Brexit. It was the first time since summits began in 1975 that a joint communique of intended action was not released after the meeting.

Russia's continuing absence from the summit format, was also notable though the will to maintain its suspension could be ebbing. U.S. President Donald Trump has called for Russia's readmission to the club in 2020.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum, said he supported Russia's return to the group.

"I personally said that to resolve global issues, an important role should be played by Russia's influence, Russian creative influence. And therefore I raised this issue about the possible return of Russia to this format."

Russia's Eastern Economic Forum comes as the country looks to pivot investment to Asia, amid U.S. and European sanctions placed on it for the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and its role in a pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine.