Speaking on the last day of a three-day summit in St. Petersburg of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized states, Putin said that "the main thing now is to stop violence, stop the growing confrontation, prevent the region from falling back into chaos, prevent a wider conflict, end the suffering of common people, give priority to political and diplomatic methods of settlement with the central mediating role of the United Nations."
Putin said Russia would consider contributing troops to an international peacekeeping force in the Middle East if the UN approved such a deployment.
Putin also said the G8 leaders had a "frank discussion" on democracy in Russia, energy problems, trade, education, and poverty.
A worker hangs G8 banners outside the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg (epa)
SITTING DOWN AT THE TABLE: On July 15-17, Russia hosts the leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized countries in its northern capital, St. Petersburg. The event is a landmark in Russia's reemergence on the international stage after more than a decade of painful transition. In many ways, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be the strongest and most confident of the leaders at the meeting, despite international concerns about the state of Russia's democratic development. Below are links to some of RFE/RL's reporting on the run-up to this major international event.