Russia can only return to G8 if it changes, says Canada

BERLIN, March 27 Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:06am EDT

BERLIN, March 27 (Reuters) - Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday he sees no way for Russia to return to the Group of Eight industrialised powers unless President Vladimir Putin changes course.

"The difficulty is that notwithstanding all of our efforts to make Mr Putin a partner, he has no desire to be partner, he has desire to be a rival," Harper said at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

"Personally - and I only speak for Canada here - I don't see any way of return of Mr Putin to the table unless Russia fundamentally changes its course."

Leaders of the Group of Seven nations, which does not include Russia, agreed this week to suspend their participation in the G8 unless the Kremlin changes course on Ukraine. (Reporting by Stephen Brown and Madeline Chambers)

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