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Russia return to G7 unimaginable: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the lower house of Parliament on May 21, 2015 in Berlin. © AFP

A return of Russia to the Group of Seven (G7) is “unimaginable,” says German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who hosts a G7 summit next month.

“As long as Russia does not commit itself, and act according to the fundamental values of international law, a return to the G8 format is unimaginable for us,” Merkel said in the German parliament on Thursday, ahead of the June 7-8 summit in the southeastern German State of Bavaria.

“We have witnessed Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in breach of international law,” said the chancellor, adding that Russia’s “massive destabilization of eastern Ukraine” causes it to stay excluded from the grouping of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Britain and Japan.

Back in April, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said, “There is broad and strong unity within the G7 on increasing sanctions and costs in response to escalating action from Russia.”

The US and its Western allies have imposed sanctions against Russia in response to its reintegration of Crimea.

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier, in which nearly 97 percent of the participants voted in favor of the move.

On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the documents officially making Crimea part of the Russian territory. He said the move was carried out based on international law.


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