Estonian President on Russia and the G8

In a long interview, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves mentioned Russia’s continued presence in the Group of 8.

Ilves: . . . Briefly, democracies don’t go to war with each other. Democracies don’t make warlike threats against each other. Either that truism is false or the notion of a G8 of the industrialized democracies getting together is based on a false premise. I mean, democracies don’t behave like that. [It’s] one or the other. Either we chuck out the premise, or we have to rethink what the G8 stands for. Which is not to mean that anyone’s going to throw the Russians out of the G8.

RFE/RL: Some people are calling for that.

Ilves: That’s true, but…if you’re not a member of the G8, it’s not difficult to call for anyone to be thrown out. But I certainly wouldn’t call it the organization of industrialized democracies anymore.

RFE/RL: What would you call it?

Ilves: Seven industrial democracies and one country brought in for reasons that have lost their relevance. If you think about it, why would you not have China then? Why would you not have India? . . .