The G-7 leaders’ decision not to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to their forthcoming summit in Bavaria is a misstep, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in an interview with the online edition of the German newspaper Rheinische Post (RP-Online).
“I think it was a mistake not to invite Vladimir Putin to the G7 summit,” Schroeder said.
According to him, both the Russians and the Western leaders have made a spate of political blunders when dealing with the situation around Ukraine.
“Russia should have been included in the negotiations on an association agreement,” he pointed out.
Schroeder specifically underscored the importance of developing cooperation with Moscow, saying that “Russia has an alternative to Europe, but not vice versa.”
The 71-year-old also confirmed his friendly relations with President Putin, saying that he communicates with the Russian leader.
The Group of Seven Summit is an annual meeting of heads of state from the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Germany.
This year’s gathering will open in Bavaria on June 7. High on the agenda of the two-day summit will be the situation in Ukraine and efforts to contain the Islamic State and the Ebola virus.
As for the G-8, it ceased to exist in March 2014 after Russia was indefinitely suspended from the group.