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Former Putin Adviser: Russia Has No Place in G-8


A former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country has no place in the Group of Eight, the world's seven leading industrial countries and Russia.

Andrei Illarionov writing Tuesday in several Russian and Western newspapers said countries attending the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg this July will be turning a blind eye to human rights violations and the erosion of political freedom in Russia.

Illarionov resigned as Mr. Putin's economic advisor last November, in protest over economic policies he described as Russian imperialism.

President Bush has said he will attend the July summit, despite calls from a group of U.S. senators to skip the event.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers has said democracy is fading in Russia and that Washington must take a tougher stand in response.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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