FILE - Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, speaks with Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper in St. Petersburg, Russia. (AP/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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Russia should never be allowed back in the Group of 7 as long as Vladimir Putin is president, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.Harper said even long before the Ukraine crisis, Russia eroded any basis for belonging to the group of wealthy nations. He also noted that Russia has ramped up long range bomber patrols near North American airspace. The G-7 suspended Russia last year but hasn't ruled out welcoming him back. The prime minister said Russia is far from like-minded.Asked what Putin's response was, Harper said Putin denied that he was in Ukraine.Harper noted Russia has ramped up its long-range bomber patrols near North American airspace since the Ukraine conflict started.A senior Canadian official said Russia has more than doubled its use of long range bomber patrols, including near North American airspace and other Western nations.
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