THE NEUTRAL ZONE
On Saturday, May 30, President Trump called for the postponement of the G7 summit, arguing that he would like to expand the list of countries that may attend. On this new prospective list of invitees was Australia, Russia, South Korea, and India. The current G7 summit includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the United States. The countries have many of the world’s most advanced economies and assemble around shared principles to discuss solutions to global issues.
Trump cited the need to update the “outdated” group of countries, stating, “I’m postponing it because I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world.” The following day, Trump informed President Vladamir Putin of his plans to allow Russia back into the fold, a move that continues to see an outpouring of condemnation from other G7 nations. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson both stated that their respective countries would not support Russia’s return until the nation ceases its “aggressive” and “destabilizing” foreign policy initiatives.
Russia was officially ousted from the former G8 summit in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The diplomatic strategy meeting was to occur in the Russian city Sochi, yet the summit was moved to Brussels where officials met without Russian leaders present. President Trump’s decision to invite Russia to the U.S.-hosted G7 summit in 2020 has reportedly confused Russian diplomats, who are seeking clarification from Washington.
Donald Trump offers to invite Vladimir Putin to expanded G7 summit – The Guardian – 6/1/20 “Donald Trump informed about his idea of holding a G7 summit with a possible invitation from the leaders of Russia, Australia, India and the Republic of Korea,” according to the Kremlin readout. There was no mention of the wave of unrest in U.S. cities. Some hours later, the White House had not produced its own version of the conversation.
Trump and Putin Discuss Russia’s Attendance at G7, but Allies Are Wary – New York Times – 6/1/20 With the Justice Department’s Russia investigation well behind him, Mr. Trump has recently accelerated his personal diplomacy with Mr. Putin. They have spoken several times this spring about global oil prices, exchanged shipments of medical supplies, and released an unusual joint statement commemorating Russian-American cooperation in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
Trudeau Shuts Down Trump’s Suggestion To Readmit Russia To G7 – HuffPost Canada – 6/2/20 “Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago. And its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and will continue to remain out,” the prime minister said.
Kremlin says Trump’s possible G7 invitation raises more questions than answers – Reuters – 6/2/20 The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia would seek further details about Trump’s proposal from Washington through diplomatic channels. “This is a format that Russia does not participate in and therefore we have said from the start that for the moment there are more questions at this stage than there are answers,” Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
Geeta Mohan on Twitter, 6/2/20: Russia rejects the idea of going back to an expanded G7. Says it is “outdated”. Stick to #G20 format. No forum without China can be complete. @mfa_russia Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s response to ques about US President @realDonaldTrump‘s proposal to hold a G7+ summit
Washington Examiner on Twitter, 6/2/20: Russian disdain for @realDonaldTrump‘s kindness speaks to a broader truth: Trump’s campaign to see Russia returned to the G7 was and remains ridiculous. @TomRTweets
Yoruk Isik on Twitter, 6/2/20: .@JosepBorrellF: “Russia’s participation in the G7, the G8 at the time, as you know, has been suspended until Russia changes course and the environment allows for the G8 to have a meaningful discussion again. And this is not currently the case…”
Maria Tadeo on Twitter, 6/2/20: Btw the head of the European diplomacy says Trump can invite Russia to the G7 meeting if he wants to as the USA is hosting. But bringing Russia back in G8 format is a no.
Jeff Rathke on Twitter, 6/2/20: American int’l relationships are reservoir of strength. So it’s perplexing when US govt fails to employ them effectively and undercuts them – the G7 the latest example. Read @agearan on the G7 summit. (With humble views from me.)