Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 164

A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said yesterday that an emergency meeting of the Group of Seven, originally scheduled for September 12 in London, is likely to be postponed for several days. The meeting is to bring together high-ranking representatives of the finance and foreign ministries of the G-7 countries–Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. It is to be devoted primarily to Russia’s economic crisis. The British Foreign Office said that the meeting is likely to be rescheduled for September 14. The postponement was attributed not to recent developments in Russia, but to scheduling difficulties among officials of the G-7 countries. (Itar-Tass, September 8)

It has apparently not yet been decided whether Russia itself will take part in the G-7 meeting. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin, Russia’s participation will depend on whether the country is able to form a government by that time. The question of Russia’s participation, he said, is now being “worked out through diplomatic channels.” (Itar-Tass, September 8) At the last full-fledged summit meeting of G-7 leaders–held this past May in Birmingham, England–Russia was included for the first time as a full participant.

In Tokyo, meanwhile, Japanese Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said that the G-7 nations are unlikely to approve any specific action program–or any new aid package–for Russia during the London meeting. Instead, he said, the meeting will be used primarily as a means for the G-7 countries to exchange information and views on Russia’s economic difficulties. The G-7 cannot take any decisions on Russia until Russia itself drafts a plan of action and discusses it with Moscow’s foreign partners, Miyazawa said. (Kyodo, Itar-Tass, September 8)