Italy Wants to Return Russia to G8
Rome wants to use its leadership of the G7 to bring Russia closer to the organization, which would bring economic and political benefits to Italy, Tiberio Graziani, President of the Rome-based Institute for Geopolitical Studies and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG) told journalists.
At his end-of-year press conference, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni declared that his country wants to play a key role in improving relations with Russia, and will use its presidency of the G7 this year to that end.
Italy assumed the group's rotating presidency on January 1, and will host the next G7 summit in Taormina, Sicily, in May.
Earlier this month, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said that his country would like to see Russia at future summits in order to discuss co-operation on pressing political and economic issues.
"We discuss with Russia all the most delicate international crises. This is the truth. Perhaps it won't be possible for Taormina, but in the future we should consider returning to a G8 that replaces the current G7," Alfano told parliament on January 17.
Tiberio Graziani, President of the Rome-based Institute for Geopolitical Studies and Auxiliary Sciences (IsAG) told Sputnik Italia that Italy's desire to return Russia to the G7 is a continuation of Rome's long-term foreign policy.
"Recent statements by Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano on the need to return to Russia to the G8 format show the long-term bilateral relationship between Italy and Russia," Graziani said.