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.
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 24, 2019
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.’
Macron rebuffs White House claim & adds dig at Trump:
"Saying that Russia can return to the [G7] table without any conditions is enacting the weakness of the G7.
— Alice Stollmeyer (@StollmeyerEU) August 22, 2019
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 just said he wanted to reinstate Russia to the G7 (so, G8) and that they were expelled because Putin “outsmarted Obama” 🤦♂️
They were expelled because they illegally seized Crimea.
— Angry Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff) August 20, 2019
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.’
"Pres. Obama was aware of the threat that Russia constituted to this country. I do not get the impression that this President is aware that Russia is an adversary." -Former Defense Sec. Leon Panetta on Trump expressing support for reinstating Russia in G7 https://t.co/2qGK36FXk6 pic.twitter.com/dO588mGgDn
— CNN (@CNN) August 21, 2019