A resurgent Russia will open its chairmanship of the Group of Eight this weekend when finance ministers from the world’s wealthiest nations convene in Moscow for a day of oil-focused talks.
Russia, whose economy has been rejuvenated by high oil prices, has selected energy security as the central theme for its July summit in St Petersburg and finance ministers are due to discuss the effect of soaring oil prices on global economic growth at the first official meeting.
Also on the agenda for Saturday’s talks are the fight against infectious diseases, including the spectre of a global bird-flu pandemic, and efforts to stem financing for terror networks.
As well as the finance ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, Russia has invited China, Brazil, South Africa and India to attend a working breakfast on Saturday that will focus on international trade.
World Bank and International Monetary Fund chiefs will also attend, as well as a representative of the European Union.