For one thing, President Trump is known for his distinct obstinacy when it comes to issues he’s convinced about and the question of adding Russia to the G7 fraternity has met concerted rejection by its members.
The likes of UK and Canada have registered their utmost displeasure over Russia’s return to G7 further deepening the yawning rift over President Trump’s strong affirmation on the issue. On Saturday, Mr. Trump announced the postponement of the summit which had been scheduled to take place this month to September. Further stating that, “the G7’s outdated group of countries” should be expanded to include others, strongly vouching for Russia’s return.
According to the White House, making progress toward convening the G7 with Russia was among the topics the leaders discussed in a phone call. This year, the G7 summit will be hosted by the US, convening leaders of UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and France to discuss matters which ironically borders on co-operation.
Despite the deliberation card of “co-operation”, Mr. Trump’s call to Mr. Putin has drawn the displeasure and anger of the UK and Canada whose leaders on Sunday spilled that they would not support Russia’s readmission to the group.
In response to Trump’s decision, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justine Trudeau commented at a news conference,
“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 it will continue to remain out”.
A spokesperson for the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said,
“Russia was removed from the G7 group of nations following its 2014 annexation of Crimea and we are yet to see evidence of changed behavior which would justify its re-admittance”. He further iterated that he would veto any proposal to allow Russia to rejoin the group, and that unless Russia discontinues its “aggressive and destabilizing activity” the UK would not support their readmission.
UK’s unwavering position on the matter dates back to 2018 when it blamed Russia for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England and although representatives of pseudo-G7 members have been in attendance to such summits in the past, Russia’s presence causes insurmountable irritation on the other members of the group.
In recent times however, there’s been a growing interest from other countries such as South Korea and Australia who desire to be a part of this ‘elite’ group of influencers. Mr. Trump’s insistence on the group opening up its fisted arms to admit other countries is because he does not feel the group “properly represents what’s going on in the world” further suggesting the likes of Russia, Australia, South Korea and India should be invited.
Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on the back of fighting the corona virus pandemic has declined Trump’s invitation to attend the summit in person.
The Group of seven (G 7) is an organization made up of the world’s seven largest advanced economies, who meet annually to discuss issues of global governance, including climate change, security and the economy.