Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has announced that his country will host the next Group of Eight summit in the southern Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in 2014. “The Group of Eight summit I have invited my counterparts to will be held on June 4-5, 2014, in Sochi,” Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted Putin as telling journalists after a G8 summit in Northern Ireland on Tuesday. The Russian president, however, noted that the agenda for the summit has not yet been agreed upon.
“We will start agreeing it only after Britain’s presidency is over,” he said, adding, “We will take up the baton from our British colleagues and friends on January 1, 2014.”Putin earlier told RIA Novosti that Moscow will focus on responses to new global threats during the next G8 summit. The Russian president further said that Moscow is slated to use the infrastructure of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, due to be held in Sochi in February 2014, for the G8 summit. “We do not plan to spend any funds on preparation for the G8 summit, so the summit will be held at Sochi’s ready infrastructure three months after the end of the Olympic Games,” Putin said. The G8 summit was held June 17-18 to mainly discuss EU-US trade talks and progress towards a Syrian conference. British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta attended the summit. MR/KA