Leaders from the world's richest countries are due to attend the annual G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps in Germany.They are expected to use the meeting to maintain diplomatic pressure on Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.Greece's debt crisis and how to tackle global warming will also be on the agenda.Russia has been excluded from what was previously known as the G8, since the annexation of Crimea last year.President Vladimir Putin will be a major focus of attention, due to concerns that he is deliberately building up further military pressure in eastern Ukraine.
Nothing to fear
Germany, Britain and the United States want to reach an agreement to offer support to any EU member state tempted to withdraw backing for the sanctions on Moscow, which are hurting the Russian economy.The West has been increasing its military presence in eastern European countries in response to concerns about Russian interference.
He told the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera: "Only an insane person and only in a dream can imagine that Russia would suddenly attack Nato."The world has changed so drastically that people with some common sense cannot even imagine such a large-scale military conflict today."Ahead of the G7 gathering, thousands of protesters marched in the nearby town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, sparking sporadic clashes with police.Several marchers were taken to hospital with injuries, but the violence was minor compared to some previous summits.