Renowned Russian Intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov On Valdai Discussion Club Website: ‘The End Of The G8 Era: Russia Does Not Need Western Hierarchy’

On April 12, 2016, the website of the pro-Kremlin think tank Valdai Discussion Club published an article by Fyodor Lukyanov, academic director of the Valdai Discussion Club, chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal. In his article, titled “The End of the G8 Era: Russia Does Not Need Western Hierarchy,” Lukyanov argues that there is no reason to revive the G8 after Russia’s 2014 suspension from it following the Russian annexation of Crimea. Noting that “the G8 reflected a certain period of history when Russia really wanted to be integrated into the so-called Extended West,” he adds that since Russia’s suspension from the G8, it has become clear that Russia does not “fit into the Western community.”

In an interview with the German newspaper Bild that was published January 12, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had never become “a full-fledged G8 member, since there were always separate negotiations among the foreign ministers of the other seven countries.” He added that while Russia was part of the G8, its presence was “useful,” since it provided an “alternative view” on issues under discussion.[1]

On April 13, 2016, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow believes that it is inappropriate to set any sort of conditions for Russia to return to the G8:Lately, we’ve often heard statements about certain ‘criteria’ for Russia’s return to the G8. Until recently, the requirements amounted to ‘complete fulfilment’ of the Minsk Package of Measures on settling the Ukrainian crisis, although this is primarily the responsibility of the Kiev authorities. Now new requirements are being added: Russia is supposed to conform to certain conditions in connection with the developments in Syria and even Libya,” she said, adding, “The way this issue is raised is obviously absurd. The G8 ceased to exist at the desire of our Western partners, who opted to search for instruments of unilateral pressure on Russia in connection with Ukraine’s deep crisis, which they provoked themselves. A tangible reduction in the international weight of the Western G7 was a consequence of this decision.”[2]

Following are excerpts of Lukyanov’s article:[4]

“It Became Clear A Long Time Ago That Russia Did Not Fit Into The Western Community”

“The G8 reflected a certain period of history when Russia really wanted to be integrated into the so-called Extended West. Why it did not happen? Did something go wrong? This is another topic. The most important thing is that it did not happen at all. It became clear a long time ago that Russia did not fit into the Western community. The mismatches of opinions [and] diplomatic clashes between Russia and the West began long before the Ukrainian crisis. The latter has just brought the differences to a climax, putting an end to the previous relationship.

“The G7… Has Now Returned To A More Consistent And Intuitive Format – The Club Of Western Countries”

“Russia should not make any effort to return to the G8… This does not mean that Russia should be at enmity with the West, but [that] the system of relations is to be changed. Russia should not try to fit into the Western hierarchy.”

Full article: Renowned Russian Intellectual Fyodor Lukyanov On Valdai Discussion Club Website: ‘The End Of The G8 Era: Russia Does Not Need Western Hierarchy’ (MEMRI)

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