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Russia doesn't make it a G8 at summit

Peter Morton Washington Bureau Chief

Financial Post, Weekly edition, Tuesday, Saturday, June 21, 1997

Leaders of the world's leading industrialized democracies have largely agreed on many key issues at their weekend summit, but they stopped short of making Russia a full member of a new G8.

A draft copy of the communique, obtained by The Financial Post, talks warmly of taking steps to ``shape the forces of integration to ensure prosperity and peace for our citizens.'' The 89-point communique also talks about bringing Russia into international organizations such as the Paris Club, the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Trade & Development.

Leaders from the original G7 -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. -- as well as Russia are into their second of a three-day meeting at the Denver Summit of the Eight.

Much of the final communique has been worked out, especially in economic areas although the U.S. was pushing for an entirely new communique to be released Sunday.

But in the largely approved draft version, the eight leaders will agree to ``expand high-quality education and training'' and to ``increase the responsiveness of labor markets to economic conditions'' resulting from major global structural changes.

A companion statement by G7 leaders on global economic and financial issues, put together by the seven finance ministers, will also talk about the successes they have had in bringing about global economic stability.

But much of the 19-page main communique dwells on global political issues, including global greenhouse emissions, fresh water and oceans.

Canada and the U.S. are onside on postponing specific targets on reducing greenhouse emissions, something German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is again planning to push. A special United Nations assembly will be held Monday on global emissions.

The communique does not include any reference to Ottawa and Germany's call for an international forestry convention. The U.S. is dead against the proposal to develop global standards for logging and reforestation, mainly because so much of U.S. woodlands is in private hands.

In what is expected to be a contentious issue, the leaders planned to call on a new ``partnership for development'' with Africa that would call on leading economies to drop tariffs to some of the poorest countries.

Source: This information is provided by the Financial Post.

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