Russian President Vladimir Putin will chair a meeting with members of the government in Moscow on February 5, 2020.
Aleksey Nikolskyi | Sputnik | Kremlin | Reuters
WASHINGTON – The White House said Friday that there are no plans to invite Russia to rejoin the G7 group, a call often made by former President Donald Trump.
Any invitation from Russia to join the G-7 would be in partnership with all members of the group, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday.
The group is currently meeting virtually, and President Joe Biden is making his first international appearance in his presidency.
The group that was once known as the G-8 included the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and Russia. After the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, it was reduced to the G-7 in 2014.
The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine sparked international turmoil and sparked a series of sanctions against Moscow. Shortly after the annexation, war broke out in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.
During his presidency, Trump urged G7 members to re-join the group, blaming his predecessor in part for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Crimea and Ukraine.
“I’ve attended numerous G7 meetings, and I think President Obama because Putin outwitted him, President Obama thought it was not good to have Russia, so he wanted Russia out. I think it’s much more appropriate.” have Russia in and it should be the G-8, “Trump said ahead of the G-7 meeting in 2019.
US President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin on the first day of the G20 summit on June 28, 2019 in Osaka, Japan.
Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
“So I could see again for sure that it is the G-8,” added Trump, noting that the group frequently discusses issues related to Russia.
During the 2019 meeting in the French coastal city of Biarritz, Trump said other members of the group also want to see Russia return to the G-7.
“I think it’s work in progress. We have a number of people who would love to see Russia again,” Trump said when asked if there was an update on adding the former member to the group. “I don’t know if we will make a decision one way or another, but we had a discussion on Russia last night, whether or not to invite them back,” he added.
“Maybe we’ll just leave it as it is,” Trump said, explaining that there was no formal decision or plan to reopen Russia.
Before leaving for the 2018 summit in Canada, Trump told reporters that leaders “should let Russia back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table,” he added.
“Russia should attend this meeting,” said Trump.