Source AP ©

Blair hopes G-8 summit to help decrease gas emissions

Tony Blair hopes that the Group of Eight would agree on a "substantial reduction" in long-term greenhouse gas emissions despite U.S.-European disagreement over binding cuts.

"I think that it is possible that we'll leave the summit with a commitment on the part of everyone to a substantial reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050 as a global target that is of the order of the type of figures the Europeans are talking about," said Blair, taking part in a last summit meeting with his friend U.S. President George W. Bush,

But agreement on the goal of a deep, fixed reduction of 50 percent was unlikely, he said.

"What is important is that that there should be a such a target and that is the sort of ballpark we're talking about," he said.

A gap remains between German Chancellor Angela Merkel's insistence on binding reductions and Bush's plan. Bush has proposed having the 15 top polluters meet and set a long-term goal, but decide themselves how much to do towards it.

Bush praised Blair, his ally in more than six years in office, saying he was "nostalgic" as they stood together for the last time at an international summit. Blair is leaving office June 27.

"This is the last meeting I will have with him as prime minister," Bush said. "I'm sad about that."

Said Blair: "To be absolutely frank at the moment ... I haven't had time to be nostalgic."

Blair and Bush then sat down for the first joint working session of the G-8, which will tackle tough issues including global warming, edgy relations with Russia and Moscow's opposition to Western efforts to secure independence for Serbia's Kosovo province.

Their host, Merkel, chaired the meeting, with Blair to her left and Bush next to him. Also at the table: Russia's Vladimir Putin, Italy's Romano Prodi, Canada's Stephen Harper, France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Japan's Shinzo Abe and Jose Manuel Barroso of the European Commission.

Russia's Ministry for Foreign Affairs is seriously concerned about the state of health of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Sergei Skrypal's niece, Victoria Skripal, said that her uncle had already died.

UK wants Sergei Skripal dead

The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok investment fund, on allegations of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles from Vostochny Bank. Calvey will be held in custody until April 13

Putin informed about arrest of US investor Michael Calvey
Comments
Three types of weapons that were stolen from Russia
Russia to start testing HIV vaccine in 2019
Russia to start testing HIV vaccine in 2019
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
The Hypocrisy of the Chinese World Dog Show
Smartphones and social networks not allowed in the Russian Army
The Hypocrisy of the Chinese World Dog Show
It was US and UK that sank Russia's Kursk submarine
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Jehova's Witnesses hunted down in Russia
Jehova's Witnesses hunted down in Russia
Jehova's Witnesses hunted down in Russia
Smartphones and social networks not allowed in the Russian Army
What Prime Minister Theresa May needs to understand
What Prime Minister Theresa May needs to understand
What Prime Minister Theresa May needs to understand
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech
Putin addresses social issues, threatens USA with Russia's new missiles in his 15th Federal Assembly speech