It is too early for the emerging economies to formally join the Group of Eight (G8), German Chancellor Angela Merkel said here Tuesday.
"This year's summit is taking a new path by launching a significantly more intensive dialogue with the emerging nations China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Mexico on many shared problems," Merkel said in an interview with German news agency DPA.
"Many people question, and it is proper to do so, whether the G8 nations can resolve major world issues all on their own, or whether we should take account of the fact that China and India for example have become emerging economies with high growth and export rates," she said.
"Though it is still too early to augment the G8 membership, we need to have a permanent dialogue which upgrades these emerging nations and takes into account their considerable political weight, " she added.
As for Russia, Merkel said that she expected Russian President Vladimir Putin to be cooperative at the three-day G8 summit, which she will host on June 6-8 in Germany's Baltic resort of Heiligendamm.
In a reply to a question if she would mediate between U.S. President George W Bush and Putin on their dispute on the U.S. plan to deploy missile shield in eastern Europe, she said, "I'm sure they'll get on with each other whether or not I'm there."
She did not expect Russia to obstruct on any issue at the summit, saying, "I fundamentally expect constructive discussion from everybody rather than an obstructive attitude."
"The range of topics where we can only advance if we are unified is great, from Kosovo and the Iranian nuclear program to the Mideast Quartet, Africa and climate change," Merkel said.
Asking if she saw a new Cold War between Russia and the United States in prospect, Merkel answered, "A definite no. Intensive cooperation with Russia is in the interest of everyone involved. But we also have to speak intensively about the controversial issues," she said.
Russia and the United States have been at odds as the latter is planning to deploy missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.