In the future Russia will return to the work of such international forums as the Group of Seven (G7), but right now it's too soon to speak of it, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Tuesday.
"In the future as I see it Russia will return to those forums. But today it's too early to speak of it," Alfano said in the interview with Corriere della Sera when answering the question if Rome was planning to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the next G7 summit in May 2017 in Italy.
According to the minister, much still remains to be done before such an invitation becomes feasible.
However, the minister underlined that Italy hoped the new US administration under President Donald Trump would strengthen relations with Russia to avoid the risk of a new Cold War.
"It's irrational to hope for a further cooling in relations," he explained.
The G7, consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, was joined by Russia in 1998.
In 2014, the Group of Eight members refused to come to the Russian city of Sochi, venue of G8 regular summit, citing disagreements over the Ukrainian crisis and have been meeting in seven-state format since then.