Harper wanted Russia out of the old G8 even before Ukraine crisis struck

SCHLOSS ELMAU, Germany — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he wanted Russia kicked out of the old G8 even before it breached Ukraine’s borders last year.

Harper says Russia simply does not share the values of the G7 members.

He says the newly reconstituted G7 is doing well after completing its second summit without Putin and he doesn’t want him back.

Harper says there was great hope in the 1990s that when Russia was admitted to what was then the G7-plus-one, its exposure to the other members would help it grow democratically and economically.

Instead, Harper says Putin has dashed the hopes of his citizens, who want changes and has concentrated power in the hands of a few rich oligarchs.

And Harper says when Putin was at the table of the old G8, he was a disruptive force.

The Canadian Press