Germany Rejects Trump’s Proposal to Let Russia Back Into G7

G7 Summit

Trump consistently insisted Russia to be part of G7

For much of the past year Trump has maintained a consistent position that Russia should be invited back into the Group of Seven (G7).

Germany has rejected a proposal by U.S. President Donald Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the Group of Seven (G7) most advanced economies, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.

Trump raised the prospect last month of expanding the G7 to again include Russia, which had been expelled in 2014 following Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Russia had been essentially booted from the summit as relations with the Obama White House broke down over the Ukraine crisis and the Crimea issue. Trump said in August 2019 that Obama had been “outsmarted” by Putin.

G7 Summit

Trump slams “outdated group of countries”, wants India and Russia on G7

When Germany followed by other countries rebuffed Trump’s plans to host the G7 at Camp David, Trump blasted the “very outdated group of countries” and expressed that he planned to invite four additional non-member nations, mostly notably Russia.

Trump’s previously unpopular comments issued blame to the past administration. “President Obama was helping Ukraine. Crimea was annexed during his term… President Obama was pure and simply outsmarted… it could have been stopped,” Trump said during the 45th G7 summit at the end of last summer held in Biarritz, France.

Citing coronavirus fears, Merkel bowed out, followed by others. But the Russia issue has remained on the table, with Trump refusing to back down.

Interestingly enough the Ukraine and Crimea issues were raised in the interview: “But Maas told Rheinische Post that he did not see any chance for allowing Russia back into the G7 as long as there was no meaningful progress in solving the conflict in Crimea as well as in eastern Ukraine,” according to the report.

Maas to some degree left a door open, suggesting that Russia’s biggest contribution to the G7 might be to facilitate a “peaceful solution” to the Ukraine crisis.

Russia is still part of the G20, a broader grouping including other emerging-market economies.

“G7 and G20 are two sensibly coordinated formats. We don’t need G11 or G12 anymore,” Maas said in reference to Trump’s proposal to invite not only Russia, but other countries to G7 meetings.

Maas described the relationship with Russia as “currently difficult” in many areas. “But we also know that we need Russia to solve conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. That will not work against Russia, but only with Russia.”

“But Russia also has to make its contribution, which is very slow in Ukraine,” Maas said.

European officials have claimed Trump’s insistence on letting Russia back in has “ruined” past meetings among the lead economic powers.

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