European Union says Russia should not rejoin G7 despite Trump’s plan

Russia was suspended in 2014 from the then G8 following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea

The G7 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while the 27-nation EU, the world's biggest trading bloc, also takes part. File photo: PTI

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday (June 2) joined a growing chorus of members of the Group of Seven (G7) major economic powers to insist that Russia must not be allowed back into the fold, after US President Donald Trump said that he plans to invite the country to a G7 summit next fall.

Trump said on Saturday (May 30) that he is postponing next month’s G7 summit, and plans to invite Russia, Australia, South Korea, and India when it does take place.

Trump told reporters that he feels the current makeup of the group is very outdated and does not properly represent what’s going on in the world.

Advertisement

The G7 members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, while the 27-nation EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc, also takes part.

Heads of these countries meet annually to discuss issues of global governance, including climate change, security and the economy.

Russia was suspended in 2014 from the then G8 following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Russia should not be allowed back in until it changes course and the environment allows for the G8 again to have a meaningful discussion, and this is not currently the case.

Borrell said that it was up to Trump, as G7 chair, to issue guest invitations, and guest invitations reflect the host priorities. But changing membership, or changing the format on a permanent basis, is not the prerogative of the G7 chair.

Borrell said G7 members sit together because they share values, interests and commitments, and he insisted that given the coronavirus pandemic cooperation among like-minded partners is crucial even more in such difficult times.

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Russia’s “continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7 and why it will continue to remain out.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, said the UK would “look at the detail of what the US is proposing,” and also noted that its customary for the host to invite other leaders as guests.

Asked whether Russia should be let back in, he said “were yet to see evidence of changed behavior that would justify its readmittance.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she will not personally attend a meeting in the US if Trump goes ahead with it unless the course of the pandemic changes by then.

Meanwhile, China angrily reacted to Trump’s plans to invite India, Russia, Australia, and South Korea to G7 summit, saying that any attempts to draw a “small circle” against Beijing will be “doomed to fail” and become “unpopular”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing in Beijing that China believes all international organisations and conferences should be conducive to mutual trust between countries to upholding multilateralism, promoting world peace and development.

“We believe this is the role of the overwhelming majority of the countries in the world. Any attempts to seek a small circle against China is doomed to fail and is unpopular,” he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on thefederal.com
FOLLOW US: