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Europe

Merkel Ally Says G8 Should Temporarily Exclude Russia

As a result of its military intervention in Georgia, Russia should be temporarily barred from G8 meetings, said a leading conservative parliamentarian in Germany.

Leaders of Group of Eight countries take shovels to plant trees commemorating the G8 summit prior to a group photo session in Toyako, northern Japan

There were still eight in the G8 at the Japan summit in July

The leading industrial nations should meet as the G7 without Russia, Eckart von Klaeden, foreign policy spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) in parliament, said on Sunday, Aug. 31.

"The West took Russia in as a member of the G8 grouping of the most important democratic industrial nations even though it fulfilled neither the economic nor the political requirements," von Klaeden said in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"These nations should meet in the old G7 format as long as Russia is not prepared to find a solution under the framework of the United Nations," he added.

The parliamentarian's comments came just a day ahead of a European Union summit in Brussels, which was specially called to discuss the crisis in the Caucasus, Russia's military intervention, and its recognition of two separatist Georgian provinces.

Four members of the Group of Eight -- Britain, France, Germany and Italy -- are part of the EU. Canada, Japan and the United States also belong to the G8.

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