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‘Russia not welcome at G7 summit’, says Canada PM Justin Trudeau

Trump said that he would delay the G7 summit scheduled to take place in June and invite other countries, including India and Russia to join the meeting.

SNS | New Delhi |

Canada does not support Russia’s return to the Group of Seven, proposed by US President Donald Trump over the weekend, because Moscow continues to flout international law, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

During his daily news briefing, Trudeau said, “Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out”.

On Saturday Trump said that G7, which groups the world’s most advanced economies, was a “very outdated group of countries” in its current format.

Trump said that he would delay the G7 summit scheduled to take place in June and invite other countries, including India and Russia to join the meeting.

Trump would like to invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to join an expanded summit in the fall. It could happen in September, either before or after the UN General Assembly, he added.

On being asked if he would attend the G7 if Russian President Vladimir Putin came, Trudeau did not answer, saying that there were still “many discussions” needed before the meeting.

“The G7 has always been a place for frank conversations with allies and friends who share so much. That’s certainly what I’m hoping to continue to see,” Trudeau said.

On Monday, Trump spoke to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and informed him about his plans to hold an expanded G7 meeting later this year, according to the Kremlin.

On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to accept Trump’s invitation to attend an envisaged G-7 summit.

Earlier, the US leader had a telephonic conversation with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and discussed the G7 summit scheduled to be held in Washington next month,stressing the “importance of leaders meeting in the US in person if possible”.

Russia was expelled from what was then the G8 in 2014 when Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, was US president, after Moscow annexed the Crimea region from Ukraine. Russia still holds the territory, and various G7 governments have rebuffed previous calls from Trump to re-admit Moscow.

(With inputs from agency)