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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Entry To G-7 Not on June Agenda

PARIS -- France, current chairman of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations, is examining ways to upgrade Russia's ties with Western institutions, a senior French official said Monday.

But granting Moscow full membership of the G-7 at the group's annual summit in June is not on the agenda, the official close to President Jacques Chirac told Reuters.

He was responding to a weekend comment by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl suggesting that the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada might decide within weeks to make Russia a full member, transforming the G-7 to the G-8.

"President Chirac is sparing no effort to ensure that Russia obtains the rank it deserves in the concert of nations. For this reason, he will co-chair a G-7 summit on nuclear safety with President [Boris] Yeltsin in Moscow in April," the official said.

He said Yeltsin would join the annual G-7 summit in Lyon, France, on the second evening and hold several hours of talks on the third day with the other leaders. However this was the same format as in the previous three years.

Diplomatic sources said Chirac discussed with U.S. President Bill Clinton in Washington last week ways of enhancing Russia's status with the G-7.