News   /   Russia

Russia return to G7 impossible over Ukraine crisis: Merkel

(From left to right) The leaders of Japan, Canada, US, Germany, France, Britain and Italy pose for a photo at the start of a G7 summit in Bavaria, southern Germany, June 7, 2015. (AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the G7 member states are against Russia’s return to the bloc due to Moscow’s stance towards the Ukrainian crisis.

"From our current point of view, Russia's return is unrealistic," said Merkel in an interview with German ARD television channel on Sunday, adding that all the bloc members have unanimously made the decision.

She stressed that the anti-Russian sanctions would remain in place since Moscow continues support for pro-Russia forces in eastern Ukraine.

"Sanctions may be revoked when there are no prerequisites that served as reasons to once impose them and when the problems are solved," Merkel told the German broadcaster ZDF.

Pro-Russia forces sit atop a Howitzer bearing the Russian flag in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on February 25, 2015. (AFP)

The German official also called on Moscow to abide by obligations under the two Minsk truce deals aimed at ending lethal clashes between Kiev troops and pro-Russian forces in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

"We have always said that there is a connection between the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the extension of sanctions with the possibility of withdrawing them. This means that if the Minsk [agreements] are implemented, the sanctions imposed in connection with Lugansk and Donetsk and shooting at MH17 will be lifted,” she pointed out.

Flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014 over Ukraine’s violence-wracked Donetsk, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. The incident killed all 298 passengers and crew on board.

The West accuses pro-Russians of targeting the plane, while they blame the heinous incident on the Ukrainian military.

Earlier in the day, European Council President Donald Tusk censured Russia for allegedly violating the respected values of the G7 members.

European Council President Donald Tusk (AFP)

“All of us would prefer to have Russia around the G7 table … But our group is not only a group [that shares] political or economic interests, but first of all this is a community of values. And that is why Russia is not among us here today,” he said.

The EU official also voiced his support for slapping further sanctions against Moscow.

"If anyone wants to start a discussion about changing the sanctions regime, it could only be about strengthening it," Tusk said.

The remarks were made on the sidelines of the two-day G7 summit in the German state of Bavaria.

On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (seen below) said Moscow does not seek to return to the bloc of the advanced economies.

"We have not made such requests [to return to the bloc]. Honestly, we are not begging for it, primarily for the reason that Russia has never left G8. It’s our G8 partners who left the Russian presidency last year. It was their own sovereign decision. We are not encroaching on anybody’s sovereignty," he stated.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku