Russian President Vladimir Putin adjusts his earphones during a news conference following the talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary, February 2, 2017. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh(reuters_tickers)
LONDON (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been invited to this year's Group of Seven summit of world leaders, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Thursday, scotching rumours of a possible last-minute invite.
"To be clear, the Italian G7 presidency has not sent any invitation to Putin to participate at the G7 in Taormina," Gentiloni said, referring to a summit scheduled for May in Sicily of the leaders of major Western industrialised leaders.
"At this moment in time, (an invitation for Russia) doesn't seem to me to be at all realistic," Gentiloni said during a news conference with his British counterpart Theresa May. He added that it was important to continue dialogue with Moscow.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer, Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gavin Jones)