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Russian President Vladimir Putin told the world today that the Russian Federation never left the G8, it was the G7 that refused to come to Moscow. He welcomed the Western leaders back to Russia and said he would be happy to host them.
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“As for Russia’s return to the G7, or G8: we did not leave it. Our counterparts refused to go to Russia for well-known reasons. However, we will be glad to see everyone in Moscow,” Putin said, reported Russian state media TASS.
The Russian leader went on to characterize his favored eastern economic blocs where Russia participates.
While commenting on a remark comparing the effectiveness of the G7 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Putin agreed that as far as purchasing power parity went, SCO member states had left G7 countries behind. “If we take per capita numbers, the G7 countries are richer but the economy in SCO countries is larger,” Putin said, adding that “the population numbers are also much bigger [in the SCO] – half of the world’s population,” wrote TASS.
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Putin also spoke about the disagreements within the G7 leadership.
“It is nothing unusual and should be taken calmly, without irony,” he said.
“Things happen,” Putin added. “If we take the EAEU [the Eurasian Economic Community], we also have debates and it is not so that everyone signs everything right away.”
According to Putin, he does not have detailed information about the disagreements that emerged at the recent G7 summit. “It is definitely interesting as it concerns the world’s largest economies,” the Russian president said, adding that “we can see some internal problems there,” wrote TASS.
With crude prices much higher on international markets, and Russia having refocused its economic ties towards China, the Russian economy is now slowing growing. However, it’s fortunes remain tied to hydrocarbons and systemic corruption is still a major problem with no end in sight.