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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
St Petersburg views: Tobin Auber
St Petersburg residents originating from each of the G8 nations assess Russia's role as the city prepares to host the G8 summit.

ST PETERSBURG VIEWS
Tobin Auber
Name: Tobin Auber
Job: Editor-in-chief, St Petersburg Times
G8 country of origin: UK
I think that at the moment it's hard to define Russia's role in G8. It still seems unclear which role it wants to play.

Being a member seems like a good thing, but is Russia ready to match G8 standards?

I think that the Russian authorities have not decided this for themselves. There are rival groups who see Russia's place in G8 in a different light. And conflicts between them are far from being resolved.

I think Russia's membership in G8 was a prize for Yeltsin - to show that Russia has chosen the right path and there is hope that one day it will become a fully-fledged member of the organisation.

Russia has not adopted all the necessary legislation and it has a different approach to many issues compared with G8 countries.

On the other hand these countries themselves have changed a great deal, especially the US and Britain. And some of their current policies are nothing to be proud of.

The war in Iraq, the last election in the US, President Bush's policies in general - I think this is all very different from the approach G8 countries should demonstrate.

There is one easily noticeable difference between Russia and Britain.

It is that people of my age here generally don't have brothers or sisters - just one child per family. I think it affects people's psyche a lot.

Those who have no brothers or sisters are often more reserved and self-sufficient, but they also don't have enough confidence.




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