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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report: Russia to Join G-7 Talks On Economics for First Time

Russia will take part for the first time in economic discussions at the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations summit in Lyon this month, a report said Monday.


In the past, Russian officials have participated only in the political part of the G-7's talks.


At its June 27 to 29 summit the G-7 is expected to come out in favor of Russia joining the Paris Club of creditor nations, Interfax quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as saying Monday.


Russian media and many Russian officials have for many months been referring to the G-7 as the G-8, however, and there was no immediate confirmation that Moscow would indeed be invited to the economic section of the summit.


This year's summit comes at a particularly sensitive time for President Boris Yeltsin, running for re-election June 16 and facing a strong challenge from Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov.


The summit will likely come shortly before a second round of the presidential vote, tentatively scheduled for July 7.


All candidates in the election have made restoring Russian pride a centerpiece of their campaigns. Zyuganov, however, has emphasized Russia's ability to do without Western institutions, while Yeltsin has continued to engage the West.


Russia would join the Paris Club not only as a debtor but also as a lender, the ministry official said.


Admission to the Paris Club would help Russia recover loans the Soviet Union made to developing countries totaling $140 billion, Oleg Davydov, the foreign trade minister, told Interfax.


When the Paris Club approved a rescheduling deal for Russia's $38 million debt earlier this year, it agreed in principle to Russia joining as a creditor as well.