Russia unlikely to re-join the G7, despite Trump's invitation

Russia unlikely to re-join the G7, despite Trump's invitation
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Germany has rejected the possibility of Russia re-joining the Group of Seven (G7) in spite of Donald Trump’s invitation, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas said Monday morning in an interview with the Rheinische Post.

The US is one of the seven members, alongside Germany, Italy, the UK, France, Canada and Japan.

Russia was banned from the original G8, an intergovernmental organisation including some of the most economically powerful countries in the world, after Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

Currently, the USA presides over the G7. Germany is the first G7 member to come forward with a hard 'no', though the remainder of the members indicated earlier that they were not interested in Russia's membership, following Trump's invitation in June. Without the members' approval, Trump will not be able to invite Russia back into the group.

Maas said he saw no chance of Russia returning to the table for as long as the Crimea-conflict would not be solved. He described the G7 relationship with Russia as “currently difficult”.

“We also know that we need Russia to solve conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya and Ukraine. That will not work against Russia, but only with Russia,” Maas stated in the interview. “But Russia also has to make its contribution, which is very slow in Ukraine.”

Last June, Trump stated it was “common sense” to allow Russia back into the G7, saying their presence would help in solving various issues involving Vladimir Putin.

The Deutsche Welle reported on Monday morning that Russian and Ukrainian forces agreed on a ceasefire in Donbass, Eastern-Ukraine, starting from midnight between Sunday and Monday. The ceasefire came following an agreement between Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. Crimea is not included in the ceasefire.

Amée Zoutberg

The Brussels Times

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