Russia has taken over the chairmanship of the G8 group of nations for the first time.
It will provide President Vladimir Putin with an opportunity to emphasise Russia’s role in international affairs.
But some critics have said Russia is not a fit country to head the group, which brings together the world’s leading industrialised democracies.
Global energy supply is set to be a big issue, with Russia seeking to show the importance of its oil and gas reserves.
Mr Putin will want to emphasise to G8 members like the US, Japan and Germany, that their economies may be far bigger than Russia’s, but they need his country because it has enough oil and gas to keep them supplied for years to come.