Berlin, March 19 (IANS) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Russia remains a member of the G8 in response to reports saying it was booted out of the group after signing a treaty accepting Crimea as a part of the Russian territory, a German government statement said.
Earlier Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had reportedly said Western states agreed to suspend Russia’s G8 membership.
Speaking at a joint press conference with visiting Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, Merkel stressed that so far, only plans for the G8 summit in Sochi are being suspended, Xinhua reported.
“Apart from that, no decisions have been taken,” Merkel added.
The G8 groups Russia and seven leading industrialised nations (G7), including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain.
The G7 as well as the European Council and the European Commission issued a joint statement March 2, blaming Russia’s position on Ukraine and declaring suspension of their preparations for a G8 summit scheduled for June in the Russian resort city of Sochi.