Germany's Merkel backs restraint with Italy's populist govt


German Chancellor Angela Merkel still sees no possibility of returning Russian Federation to the group of the world's leading industrial countries.

Merkel acknowledged that growing tensions between the US and its allies over Washington's withdrawal from global agreements on climate change and Iran's denuclearization and its newly imposed trade tariffs would make the upcoming G7 summit in Canada a tense meeting.

In Germany's first-ever "Chancellor's Question Time", Angela Merkel fielded lawmakers' inquiries in the Bundestag on issues ranging from immigration to strained relations with Washington.

Merkel said in Berlin Thursday that, as long as there is no fundamental United Nations reform, "we should, whenever a European member state gets a non-permanent United Nations seat. coordinate these seats Europe-wide and make them practically European seats".

Canada will host the G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, on Friday and Saturday. Permanent contacts are underway in the G20 format and directly between the leaders, in particular, on how to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine, she said.

If an acceptable agreement can not be agreed, a "chairman's summary" by the Canadian hosts "is perhaps a more honest path - there is no sense in papering over divisions at will".

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She added she would "of course try to speak to the USA president about the current problems that we have overall, in particular on Iran and on trade tariffs".

Merkel was asked by lawmakers from the nationalist Alternative for Germany, or AfD, and hard-left Left Party whether it wouldn't make sense to talk more with Russian Federation.

At her first question-and-answer session in parliament on Wednesday, Merkel was asked by a lawmaker from the nationalist Alternative for Germany party, Michael Espendiller, whether it was right to throw Russian Federation out of the G-8 and whether it would be good to revive the format.

She said she agrees with her finance minister that "we should restrain ourselves a bit", adding it should be made clear that "Europe is based on certain rules" but good cooperation is the priority.

She said Russia's readmission to such a format is not now feasible.