Foreign Minister denounces appeal by US to oust Russia from G8

Russian Foreign-Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov has denounced appeal by the U.S. International Affairs Committee to President George W. Bush to take measures and oust Russia from the G8 as purely pre-election rhetoric, the Russia Journal said.

Lavrov reacted to rising anti-Russia sentiments among U.S. political and business elite at a press briefing in the German capital. Specifically, his scathing indictment followed a resolution adopted recently by the U.S. International Affairs Committee, in which congressmen have recommended President Bush to discuss the issue of ousting Russia from the elite club of eight most industrialized nations with other G8 leaders. The committee members believe that Russia does not meet the democratic requirements to be a G8 member.

"This is not very serious, [because such pronouncements] are largely connected with internal games in the pre-election period [in the United States]. I wouldn't like to comment more on this topic," Lavrov - a former Russian ambassador to the United Nations, recalled to run the foreign affairs ministry following a Cabinet reshuffle in March - said.

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