Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump Calls For Russia To Rejoin G7, Deepening Divide With Allies

Trump Calls For Russia To Rejoin G7, Deepening Divide With Allies

"The common European position is against the return of Russian Federation", one senior aide to Macron told reporters, although the leaders did leave open "the possibility of establishing dialogue" with Moscow.

While making his suggestion for Russian Federation to be readmitted to the G7, the president said on Friday that he had "been Russia's worst nightmare". "I see this as an acknowledgement and an evaluation of Russia's efforts to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with China", he said, making only passing mention of "our personal friendship".

Trump's deteriorating relationships with Trudeau and Macron - both of whom he has previously lavished with praise - come as the US finds itself increasingly isolated from key allies over Trump's isolationist policies, including his decisions to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

"We should reject self-centered, shortsighted and closed-door policies", said Xi, whose own country has been accused of restricting broad access for foreign firms to its huge market.

The Chinese president said the three countries should push the construction of the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor, actively explore cooperation in areas such as infrastructure interconnectivity, and promote sub-regional cooperation in adjacent areas of the three countries.

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Before leaving Washington this morning, Mr Trump caused fresh controversy by suggesting Russian Federation should be invited back into the G7, to reform the G8, after Vladimir Putin was kicked out in 2014 after his annexation of Crimea.

The tone in the immediate run-up to the meetings at La Malbaie showed no sign of compromise between a U.S. president determined to disrupt the status quo to force more favourable terms for the USA, and six United States allies resolved to stop him.

"Trump said he was attending the G7 summit to "[straighten] out unfair Trade Deals" with Canada, France and other close USA allies, he tweeted early Friday.

Putin said last month that the proposed summit between him and Trump was not working out for now and was beset by problems.

Before arriving at the meeting of the group, which some suggest Trump is pushing from the Group of Seven into "G-6 plus one", he further stirred the pot by asking why Russian Federation was excluded.

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"Russia is focussed on other formats, apart from the G7", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a brief statement reported by the government-controlled Sputnik news agency.

"We should remind ourselves why the G8 became the G7 - it was after Russian Federation illegally annexed Crimea".

While the suggestion is likely to draw the ire of the Western political establishment, the recently installed Italian prime minister was quick to endorse Trump's suggestion.

Since Mr. Trump slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum, these leaders have taken a more confrontational approach.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Thursday with Trump at the White House, where the focus was Trump's unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, scheduled for Singapore next week.

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