Emerging Markets Should Be Allowed Into G8, Lavrov Says

YEKATERINBURG — Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov blamed Japan and the United States on Friday for preventing the Group of Eight industrial nations from expanding to include other countries with big emerging economies.

Lavrov made the comments at a meeting of foreign ministers from the countries grouped under the initials BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — in Yekaterinburg.

The four account for 40 percent of the world's population and most of its economic growth, and want to match their growing economic power with more political clout on the world stage in institutions, such as the United Nations, the World Bank and G8.

"It's no secret, the main opposition of the G8 expansion is the U.S. and Japan, you perfectly know it," Lavrov told the ministers from Brazil, India and China.

Lavrov said Britain — a country that has backed G8 expansion — was planning to make proposals for big changes to the international financial system. "Our British colleagues say the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will soon make a statement to the next G8 summit in Italy, on the proposals about global financial organisations," Lavrov said as the meeting ended.

"Our British colleagues have told us they are working on a large-scale initiative," he said, but did not say what Brown was planning for the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Lavrov also briefed the foreign ministers on this year's G8 summit, starting July 9 in Japan, and set out some of the likely topics for discussion, such as food security, terrorism and a future banking reform plan.