Russia has no intention of getting back to the G8 format, the Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"This theme [of return to the G8 format] is not being discussed in Moscow in any way," TASS cited Peskov as saying.
Asked if Moscow might accept an invitation to a G8 summit, Peskov said, "We’ve not heard the heads of state that keep gathering for G7 meetings ever say anything that might sound like an intention to invite Russia or some other countries."
"As far as Russia is concerned, regardless of any eventual proposals and invitations Russia’s priority is participation in the G20. The Russian president has said this more than once," Peskov added.
On January 12 Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano did not rule out the G8 format involving Russia might be restored by the next summit due in Taormina, Sicily, at the end of May. He speculated that "Moscow’s participation in the Taormina summit might provide good hope at the beginning of the year and be translated into life within months."
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed confidence yesterday that the G7 and G8 groups have been successfully replaced by the G20.
The President of the Minchenko Consulting Communication Group, Yevgeny Minchenko, noted, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, that Russia has no plans of getting back to the G8, as this format has long ceased to meet its interests. "I believe that the G20 format is more comfortable for Russia, as in the G20 it will not be isolated due to the presence of other BRICS countries in it," he said.
According to the expert, the G7 format is able to work in the current form even without Russia. "The G7 is the club of the leading countries of the Big West. In this sense, I think that the G7 may continue its existing," Yevgeny Minchenko said.
The director of the Institute of Contemporary Economics, Nikita Isayev, in turn, believes that at present Russia has committed itself to isolationism by the need to pay more attention to the internal agenda. "It is important for the government to demonstrate to Russian society that we are not interested in the world community's opinion. Peskov's statement is proactive, as no one is waiting for us in this elite club - this position fits with the general policy of the Western sanctions," he pointed out.
Nikita Isayev agreed that the G7 will remain in the current form. "The narrow club of seven leading economies of the world will continue to discuss issues of minor global importance. The main issues are being discussed mainly at bilateral meetings, which was demonstrated, for example, at the APEC forum in Lima, where the US and China as the world's major players have shown interest in building bilateral relations," the director of the Institute of Contemporary Economics said.