The G8 is over for another year, the meeting in L’Aquila judged at least a partial success with its committment to Africa and to rebuilding the world economy. The leaders accepted emerging countries must be brought into expanded future summits, to counter accusations that the group is simply a rich man’s club. But, behind the smiles, rivalries remain, and President Obama reiterated his worries about the dangers posed by, among others, Iran:
“We remain seriously concerned about the appalling events surrounding the presidential election, and we are deeply troubled by the proliferation risks Iran’s nuclear programme poses to the world.” Iran is not the President’s only worry. Russian unhappiness over Washington’s planned anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic won’t go away, and President Medvedev stepped up the pressure: “If we don’t manage to agree on the issues, you know the consequences. What I said during my State of the Nation address has not been revoked.” President Medvedev said then that Russia would react if the plan isn’t dropped. He has now repeated that the Kremlin will deploy its own missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave neighbouring Poland, putting a Cold War chill on the post-G8 atmosphere.