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Russian Envoy Concerned About Atmosphere of G-8 Summit


A top Russian official in charge of preparations for the G-8 summit is expressing concern over the international atmosphere ahead of the July meeting in St. Petersburg.

Igor Shuvalov told reporters in Moscow his country hopes the summit will result in Russia's full acceptance as an equal G-8 partner. He raised specific concerns over negative western news media portrayals of developments in Russia, which he indicated do not always correspond to reality.

The Russian official said his government has hired the U.S.-based public relations firm Ketchum to help deal with the problem.

Mr. Shuvalov listed ensuring energy security, dealing with infectious diseases and improving education as his country's top priorities for the summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting the annual summit of the world's seven leading industrial countries plus Russia for the first time since his country joined the group in 2002.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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