The United Kingdom will reject any attempt to re-admit Russia to the G7, Downing Street said, as the US president, Donald Trump, has proposed a coalition of major world powers broaden.
But No. 10 said it was a question for Mr Trump, as host of this year, whether he decides to invite the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as a guest to the event.
President Trump said on Saturday that he intended to delay the annual world leaders’ meeting until September, and that he wanted to invite Russia, along with South Korea, Australia and India, to negotiate possible ties with China as part of an alliance.
Previously, the US president has faced resistance from other members of the G7 including the UK – all of whom hold vetoes on proposed changes to the body’s membership – to Russia’s readmission, which was expelled from what was then the G8 in 2014 over its illegal annexation of Crimea.
But he identified September ‘s meeting – postponed due to coronavirus from next week – as theoretically a “G10 or G11,” elevating the possibility of a structured membership expansion. Mr Trump described the G7, which also comprises Canada, Japan , Germany, Italy and France, as “a really old community of nations,” adding: “I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world.”
The inclusion of some, he said, would build “a nice group of countries.”
Speaking regarding the remarks of Mr Trump, the official spokeswoman for Boris Johnson left little question in a regular Westminster media conference that the United Kingdom was able to block Russia’s readmission.
The spokesperson said: “Decisions on G7 membership need to be made unanimously.”
“Russia was removed from the G7 group following its annexation of Crimea and we are yet to see evidence of its changed behaviour which would justify readmittance.”
“We would not support it being readmitted as a member of the group unless it ceases aggressive and destabilising activity that threatens the safety of UK citizens and the collective security of our allies.”
“In terms of invitations issued by the host country, that is a matter for them. At recent G7s, the host country has invited countries from outside the group. It’s an established principle that that is what the host nation can do.”
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