Trump says Russia should be allowed back in G7

Jon Sharman

Donald Trump has said Russia should be allowed to re-join the G7 group of advanced industrialised countries.

Vladimir Putin‘s Russia was pushed out of the then-G8 in 2014 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr Trump noted that his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had wanted Russia out of what used to be the G8.

“But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia,” he said.

Mr Trump has repeatedly sought to roll back policies and decisions implemented by Mr Obama, notably environmental protections, healthcare reform and US backing for the Iran nuclear deal.

It was not the first time Mr Trump had called for Russia’s re-admission to the group, which includes the US, Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.

In June last year, he suggested Moscow representatives should attend a G7 summit in Canada. A Kremlin spokesman appeared to reject the idea, saying it was focused on other formats.

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Two days later, Mr Putin said Russia did not choose the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow.

Mr Trump has periodically called for closer ties with Russia, although his administration’s policy has included strong sanctions against Moscow.

He has also made clear he takes the word of Mr Putin that Russia did not attempt to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election, in the face of analysis by American intelligence agencies.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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