End of G8 Era: Russia Does Not Need Western Hierarchy

Trying to use the re-establishment of G8 as an instrument of pressure on Russia is meaningless. What role Russia will play there? No one understands.

On April 10, 2016, on the eve of the G7 foreign ministers meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced possible return of Russia to the G8. He stressed that "no serious international conflict can be resolved without the participation of Russia." However, is it necessary to Russia itself? Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, shared his vision of the situation.
The very fact that the question was raised about the G8 re-establishment means a change of the atmosphere in the world. This confirms that the acute rejection of Russia by the West, which began with the Ukrainian crisis, is gradually replaced by an understanding of the need to restore the channels of cooperation and communication.

But here the question arises: How to open a new page in relations with Russia? Statements by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggest rather a lack of imagination and real understanding of what is happening among the Western leaders. After all, the prospects of G8 reconstruction are practically impossible, and most importantly - there is simply no need of it.

Era of G8 and integration into the Extended West

The G8 reflected a certain period of history when Russia really wanted to be integrated into the so-called Extended West. Why it did not happen? Something went wrong? This is another topic. The most important thing is that it did not happen at all.

It became clear a long time ago, that Russia did not fit into the Western community. Mismatches of opinions, diplomatic clashes between Russia and the West began long before the Ukrainian crisis. The latest just has brought the differences to a climax, put an end to the previous relationship.

Private club of Western countries

When, in the 1990s, Russia was admitted to the G8, it seemed that this membership would not mean just a participation in yet another club, but a strategic decision aimed at the future. However, the desirable future did not come and probably won't come. It is obvious now, that the world does not develop in the direction of the Western model.

So, now we have what we have, and there is no reason to restore the G8.

The G7 does not need this, it has now returned to a more consistent and intuitive format - the club of Western countries. Why there was Russia, no one could ever clearly explain.

It is not necessary for Russia. It is clear that this club will never be a "world government", as once they have planned. These are powerful countries, that have a great influence on the global situation, but they are incapable to decide the fate of the world inside their inner circle.

Who will enter the "world government"?

Talking hypothetically about a global governing body, we can be sure that these are not G7 or G8 - it is certainly the G20. It is more representative and thus more legitimate. The G20 includes countries that have, so to say, stakes in the global governance system.

Russia needs to remain in G20 and to work actively with other BRICS and Western countries. This is the future.

Trying to use the re-establishment of G8 as an instrument of pressure on Russia is meaningless. What role Russia will play there? No one understands.

Russia should not take any effort to return to the G8 or correct its strategic plans. This does not mean that Russia should be at enmity with the West, but the system of relations is to be changed. Russia should not try to fit into the Western hierarchy.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.