Russian return to G8 depends on Ukraine ceasefire-German minister

LUEBECK, Germany, April 15 (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday the Group of Seven foreign ministers wished Russia would fulfill the conditions needed to once again be part of the extended Group of Eight meetings.

Speaking after a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Luebeck, Steinmeier said Russia needs to implement a ceasefire agreement in Ukraine before that can happen. Russia’s actions in Ukraine have led the G7 to suspend Russia’s invitation to their talks.

“There is no interest on my part, or as far as I know anyone else’s, in pursuing a policy of containment or even isolation of Russia,” he said. “We very much like to have had conditions in which Russia could again take part as part of the G8.

“But it remains the case that the path to that leads through the implementation of the Minsk agreement and resolving the Ukraine conflict and fulfilling the obligations that Russia has taken for itself. There’s no dispute about that. That’s the joint view of the G7,” he told a news conference. (Reporting by Michelle Martin, Stephen Brown and Madeline Chambers; Writing by Erik Kirschbaum)