EU Members Publicly Embarrass Donald Trump In Front Of Everyone

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Before heading to the G7 Summit, a meeting of world leaders in countries with advanced economies, Donald Trump began making noise once again about making the G7 the G8 once more by allowing Russia back into the group. On Saturday, a resounding “no” was issued by the European Union, under which four (Britain, France, Italy, and Germany) of the other seven countries are members.

Trump said before leaving for France for the meeting that Russia was only exiled from the group because he “outsmarted” Obama, a wild claim with absolutely no truth to it. In fact, Russia was kicked out of the G7 for their annexation of Crimea, during which more than 13,000 people died. France’s Emmanuel Macron had already discounted the idea of allowing Russia back in without considerable concessions, and EU Council President Donald Tusk’s disapproval echoes what the universal standing is among the group.

According to Reuters:

‘The U.S. president has said it would be “appropriate” to have Russia rejoin what used to be the G8, which Russia was excluded from in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea and then backed an anti-Kiev rebellion in the industrial region of Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

‘“One year ago, in Canada, President Trump suggested reinviting Russia to G7, stating openly that Crimea’s annexation by Russia was partially justified. And that we should accept this fact,” said Donald Tusk who, as president of the European Council, represents the EU’s 28 member states.’

Instead of Russia doing anything to be allowed back in, Tusk said that Russia has moved even farther from their goals of democracy and human rights. Continued human rights abuses, conflict with Ukraine that resulted in the detention of sailors, Putin’s declarations that liberalism “is dead,” and further actions have made it even more apparent that allowing Russia back into the G7 is simply not possible at this time.

‘Tusk said the reasons for Moscow’s ejection from the group remain valid and there have been new reasons since then for its continued exclusion, including “the Russian provocation on the Azov Sea”, an apparent reference to the detention of Ukrainian sailors last year.

‘“Second: when Russia was invited to G7 for the first time, it was believed that it would pursue the path of liberal democracy, rule of law, and human rights. Is there anyone among us, who can say with full conviction, not out of business calculation, that Russia is on that path?,” Tusk said.’

Trump’s advocacy for Russia is controversial considering the Kremlin’s attacks on the presidential election in 2016. The American president who claims to be tough on U.S. adversaries has taken Putin’s side over his own intelligence community, at times refused to admit that Russia interfered in the elections, and failed to impose congressional sanctions on the foreign adversary for more than a year after taking office.

‘Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin despite Western criticism of his record, and discord over the group’s relationship with Moscow is just one of several areas of tension in trans-Atlantic ties that will be on display at the summit.

‘The G7 groups the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.’

Featured image via Flickr by Steve Baker under a Creative Commons license