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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

A Call for Russia to Join G7

ESSEN, Germany -- There is no sense in not including Russia as a full member of the powerful Group of Seven countries tackling the world's most important economic issues, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck said Friday.

"It does not make sense to have the Russian Federation not as a full member at the table," Steinbruck said, looking toward an upcoming meeting of G7 and G8 officials.

Expanding the G7 beyond the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy has become a pressing issue as economies such as China, India and Russia have grown to exert influence on global growth, trade and currency markets.

"There are a lot of topics that cannot be discussed without the important emerging market countries like China, India, South Africa, Australia, to name a few. I think that one should have them at the table," Steinbruck said at a news conference.

"It's not a formalized process, but in my opinion, this G7-G8 meeting will be expanded to include this circle, and in the sense of full membership," said Steinbruck who, since becoming finance minister in the fall of 2005, has advocated Russia's full participation in the G7.

German officials have already said China -- the world's fourth-biggest economy and custodian of more than $1 trillion in foreign reserves -- would be involved in Saturday's G7 discussion on global economic issues and in future talks.

That move effectively sees Beijing leapfrog Moscow in the pecking order of emerging-market nations increasingly considered vital to discussions of key policy issues.