Trump Wants Russia Back In The G-7

Posted June 09, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump raised eyebrows Friday by suggesting Russian Federation should be allowed to rejoin the elite group of leading industrialized nations now known as the Group of Seven or G7.

So take a moment to admire Mr. Trump's instinctive pot-stirring genius, and then consider what it tells us. But Russia was suspended from the summit of the top industrialized nations in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea, a part of Ukraine.

While he's taken a tougher stance on traditional USA allies, Trump - who remains under investigation as part of an inquiry into potential collusion between his presidential campaign and the Kremlin - has charted a warmer course with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The agreement is based on greater intelligence sharing between the countries of the G7 group of industrialised nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the USA - and aims to identify, prevent and respond to hostile state activity including cyber-attacks.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Russian Federation issue "hasn't been raised around the G-7 table", though she said there have been "some direct conversations in bilateral meetings".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "We are in agreement that a return of Russian Federation to the G7 can not happen unless substantial progress is made in terms of the problems with Ukraine".

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Putin and his aides say it is an indispensable tool to gauge public sentiment and learn about people's real problems. He added, however, that he could pull them out of the country quickly if necessary. "Total nonsense.

The US president was very much the odd man out on climate change during the G7 in Italy a year ago, later announcing his intention to withdraw from the landmark Paris agreement.

Xi praised both China and Russian Federation as "great, responsible countries".

Bloomberg News' Shannon Pettypiece said these arguments have been made to Trump and people close to him have warned about the idea of a summit with Putin.

"Both share skepticism towards American hegemony and distrust United States intentions, both are authoritarian personalistic rulers", he said.

Trump was set to arrive Friday at the annual gathering, held this year at a Quebec resort, but will leave Saturday morning before it is even over to fly to Singapore for his highly anticipated summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

US President Donald Trump steps away after the family photo at the G7 Summit in La Malbaie, Canada.

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"My experience of communication with the United States president suggests that although his actions are frequently criticized, especially lately, including on the global scene and in the economic sphere, this experience tells me after all that he is a thoughtful person who can listen to and who responds to arguments given by his interlocutor".

"The American president may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a six-country agreement if need be", Macron said, adding that United States workers would be the first to suffer from a trade war between Europe and the US.

The tweets were in part a response to criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday who said the president's recent moves pulling the US from the Iran nuclear deal and implementing new trade tariffs have isolated the USA on the world stage. "The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be", he tweeted.

At a joint press conference on Thursday, Macron said: "A trade war doesn't spare anyone".

The issue of tariffs however may loom largest over Friday's talks.

The G-7 summit is shaping up to be the most acrimonious in years, putting pressure on Justin Trudeau as host to bridge a divide between Trump and Europe, with Japan's Shinzo Abe poised to fall somewhere in the middle.

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Velshi picked up on the "you're not more important to me because you're an ally" aspect of what Trump is doing on trade. He has also refused to condemn the Russian strongman over the Kremlin's interference in the US presidential election, at one point suggesting he trusts Putin's denials of wrongdoing over the findings of his own intelligence agencies.