Central Bank head: Russia will boycott G-7 meetings this week

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia won’t attend this week’s meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers in Washington because it has not been granted the status it deserves in the organization, the head of the Central Bank said Monday.
“We’ve informed our partners that we aren’t willing to participate in the format we have in the past,” said bank chairman Sergei Dubinin.
The members of the G-7, the leading industrialized nations of the world, have brought Russia into the group to help it maintain its international prestige after the collapse of the Soviet Union. After meetings last year, the group was informally dubbed the G-8.
But while President Boris Yeltsin regularly participates in summits of heads of state, Russian officials have been junior participants in talks among top economic officials.
In the past, Russian officials would attend part of the meetings of G-7 finance ministers and central bankers, reporting on Moscow’s economic reform performance. However, the Russians left the room when the G-7 discussed the international economy and exchange rates.
Dubinin said the arrangement is no longer acceptable to Russia, given the country’s full-scale incorporation into the political work of the organization.
He said Russian officials had been pushing