Source Pravda.Ru

Russia to attend Evian summit as full G-8 member

Russia will attend a summit at Evian as a full G-8 member, believes presidential economic adviser Andrei Illarionov, a sherpa /representative of Russia/ in that club.

"At present there is not a single question within the G-8, not a single working group, not a single unit in which Russia would not be participating as a full-blown member," Illarionov said.

According to him, Russia's position at the summit in France's Evian "will differ from what it was in the previous years". "We have taken yet another serious step," he thinks.

For example, Illarionov recalled, at the Okinawa summit three years ago several areas were identified in which Russia's membership of G-8 was incomplete.

In particular, Russia was insisting on the write-off of its debt, which did not accord with the principles of club membership. There was also the problem with non-participation of the Russian side in the discussion of financial matters. Besides, the sherpa indicated, "the partners had complaints about the security of Russian nuclear facilities - participation in the G-8 working group on nuclear safety was in the "seven-versus-one" format.

"Most of these problems are solved," he pointed out. The debt issue is closed in full - the state's sovereign debt over the past three years has diminished by one-quarter.

Russia has fully solved the problem of nuclear security, with the result that the nuclear safety group in the format of seven ceased to exist and a mandate was drafted for a new working group at eight. At Evian, the establishment of this group will be officially announced.

"The only condition which we failed to fulfil fully is WTO membership," Illarionov said. "Although there are problems which are partly meaningful and partly political," on this question, according to him, there is "substantial progress". "The distance which has been covered in the past three years shows that we are now incomparably nearer full-scale WTO membership," he remarked.

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