Russia should rejoin G7-Trump

Russia should rejoin G7-Trump

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US President Donald Trump says he wants Russia to rejoin the G7 group of key industrialized nations.

Russia was expelled in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea, but Mr Trump said he wanted the country readmitted.

But German Chancellor Angela Merkel said European nations there agreed it was not yet time to let Russia back in.

Russia is only one of the differences at the summit, with Mr Trump and other G7 nations disagreeing on several issues, most notably trade.

Another of the attendees, European Council President Donald Tusk, warned that Mr Trump’s stance on trade, climate change and Iran constituted a real danger.

“What worries me most however is the fact that the rules-based international order is being challenged, quite surprisingly not by the usual suspects but by its main architect and guarantor: the US,” he said.

The G7 summit, which groups Canada, the US, the UK, France, Italy, Japan and Germany, is being held in the town of La Malbaie in Quebec, Canada.

The leaders of the nations, which represent more than 60% of global net worth, meet annually. Economics tops the agenda, although the meetings now always branch off to cover major global issues.

What did Mr Trump say about Russia?

Mr Trump said he regretted the meeting had shrunk in size.

“You know, whether you like it or – and it may not be politically correct – but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in,” he said.

He found support in the shape of the newly installed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who tweeted that it was “in the interests of everyone” for Russia to be readmitted.

But later Germany’s Angela Merkel said all the EU members there, including Mr Conte, agreed that Russia could not be readmitted unless there was “progress” on Ukraine. Canada too says it remains opposed.

A Kremlin spokesperson meanwhile said they were interested in “other formats”, apart from the G7.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently in Beijing, where he was presented with a friendship medal by Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Fellow members of what was then the G8 suspended Russia after it took control of Crimea from Ukraine. Tensions remain, in part over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in the UK.

How do other G7 members see trade?

Mr. Trump’s imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs has sparked anger with even US allies falling subject to them.

Before the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron said “a trade war doesn’t spare anyone”, while G7 host Justin Trudeau described Mr. Trump’s citing of national security to defend his steel and aluminum tariffs as “laughable”.

Never one to back down, Mr Trump fired off a series of tweets, keeping up the tirade on Friday.

BBC

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