Amid the ongoing global health crisis, US President Donald Trump held a telephonic conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin wherein he told him about his proposal to invite Russia and other countries to participate in the international G7 summit, a statement released by Kremlin on Monday confirmed.
This development has come days after the US President announced deferring the 46th G7 (Group of Seven) summit until September in a bid to expanding the scope of the summit by inviting the participation of other countries including Russia, India, South Korea, and Australia. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trump stated that the current G7 group is “very outdated” and does not properly represent what’s going on in the world. The summit was scheduled to take place from June 10-12 at Camp David in the US.
Moreover, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday posted a tweet, stating that the US President also discussed the prospects of Brazil’s participation in the G7 meeting during a phone call with him.
Notably, the G7 group formed in 1975 includes 7 member countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these countries represent 40% of global GDP and 10% of the world’s population. While Russia was a part of the intergovernmental organization of the world’s top economies after joining in 1997 (the group was then renamed G8), it was removed in 2014 following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.
Now, G7 members Canada and the UK have opposed Trump’s proposal of re-entry of Russia to the group. At a news conference, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has maintained that Russia should continue to remain out of G7 over its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms. Furthermore, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also asserted that the British PM would veto any proposal to allow Russia’s re-entry to the group.
Interestingly, this is not the first time US President Trump has encouraged Russia’s return to the G7 group, despite opposition from other member countries. At the 2018 G7 summit, Trump had said that it would be an asset to have Russia back in the group. Donald Trump’s call for Russia’s readmission in the G7 group has met with resistance from other members multiple times. Over the period of time, US-Russia ties have developed significantly with the leaders of the two countries recently discussing the need to enhancing mutual trust in the military sphere and other areas of geopolitical discourse.
While Trump can invite other countries to the Summit being the host President this year, he would require approval from other G7 member nations. Meanwhile, leaders of Australia and South Korea have expressed interest in attending the summit this year in the United States. However, last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to attend a summit to be held in Washington in person on the invite of the US President due to the Coronavirus pandemic.