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Russia Adds Israel-Lebanon Crisis To G8 Agenda

A bridge in southern Beirut that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike (epa) July 14, 2006 -- Russia's Foreign Ministry says Moscow has added the Israel-Lebanon crisis to the agenda of the Group of Eight (G8) summit in St. Petersburg on July 15-17.

"We think that all parties involved in the conflict must immediately cease military action. This should be a starting point for resolving all other issues and problems," Russian President Vladimir Putin said today in St. Petersburg. "We will certainly discuss this problem when we get together -- with the U.S. president tonight and tomorrow night with all our G8 colleagues."

"We are very concerned about the developments," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists today while flying from Paris to Moscow. "The situation must be stopped and brought to a normal process of negotiations. It's not acceptable for anyone to take hostages. It's not acceptable to kill civilians while trying to liberate hostages."

Israel today widened its assault on Lebanon, hitting Beirut's international airport for the second straight day with rockets fired from warplanes.

Earlier today, three people were killed and 50 wounded by Israeli air strikes on Hizballah targets in southern Beirut.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

MORE: Follow the events of the G8 summit in Russian at the site of RFE/RL's Russian Service.