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Russia's Lavrov says no "cool war" after G8 summit in Russia

01.01.70

MOSCOW, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister dismissed suggestions Tuesday that a "cool war" could allegedly haunt relations between Russia and the West after this weekend's Group of Eight industrialized nations' summit.

Some political experts, including former Kremlin economic advisor Andrei Illarionov, have warned in recent weeks about an upcoming "cool war" within the G8.

But in an interview with Diplomat magazine posted on the ministry's site, Sergei Lavrov said this was unlikely.

"The statements about a 'cool war' made by some political scientists must be seen in the light of unfavorable coverage of [events] in Russia, an approach that has unfortunately established in some Western media," he said, echoing previous comments made by influential Kremlin aide Igor Shuvalov.

Lavrov said "unsubstantiated attacks on our country were increasingly frequent in the run-up to the summit," which will gather the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States in St. Petersburg on July 15-17.

However, the minister said serious politicians made no declarations of the kind.

"Serious politicians in our partner nations have never placed in doubt the need to consolidate unity within the G8 in a quest for collective responses to the most difficult challenges of the day," Lavrov said.

The minister said Russia had maintained intensive dialogue with its G8 partners on the issues it had declared priorities of its presidency in the group: global energy security, infectious diseases and education.

"The first half of Russia's 2006 presidency in the G8 has seen more than 50 events," Lavrov said, thanking all his colleagues for their constructive approach and understanding.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group