Trump Says Russia Should Be Allowed Back In The G-7

As he headed to the G-7 Summit, President Trump threw our ostensible allies another curve.

As he departed the White House for his trip to Canada for the G-7 Summit in Canada, President Trump threw yet another international relations curveball that is likely to widen the rift between the United States and its closest (for now) and most important allies:

WASHINGTON — President Trump called on the world’s leading economies on Friday to reinstate Russia to the Group of 7 nations four years after it was cast out for annexing Crimea, once again putting him at odds with America’s leading allies in Europe and Asia.

The president made the suggestion to reporters at the White House just before leaving for Canada to attend the annual meeting of the G-7, a gathering that already was promising to be crackling with tension over trade, Iran and Mr. Trump’s sharp-edged approach to foreign leaders.

“Russia should be in this meeting,” Mr. Trump said. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting? And I would recommend — and it’s up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting, it should be a part of it. You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run and the G-7 — which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

Russia joined the group in the 1990s after emerging from the wreckage of the Soviet Union, making it the G-8, but its armed intervention in its neighbor Ukraine in 2014 and seizure of the Crimean peninsula angered other major powers. The remaining members, led by President Barack Obama, expelled it in a sign of global resolve not to let international borders be redrawn by force.

(…)

Britain, Germany and other members of the G-7 were unlikely to go along with Mr. Trump’s suggestion, but he won support from Italy. “I agree with President @realDonaldTrump: Russia should return to the G8,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wrote on Twitter in Italian. “It is in everyone’s interest.”

“President Trump has placed himself on the wrong side: with the autocrats, the corrupt, and the anti-Americans, who look to Vladimir Putin as a natural ally,” said Daniel Fried, a former career diplomat who oversaw sanctions on Russia after its Ukraine intervention. “Such language will dismay America’s friends and embolden our adversaries.”

This news came, as I said, as President Trump was departing the White House for the short trip to Canada for this weekend’s G-7 Summit, which is already anticipated to be a contentious one given the President’s decision to impose tariffs on aluminum Canada and Europe as well as Mexico in the name of “national security,” a move that has already led to threats of retaliatory tariffs aimed principally at American agriculture. It has also resulted in some harsh exchanges of words between Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and between the President and President Emmanuel Macron of France, with whom the President has until now had a very good relationship. It’s expected that the issue of trade will dominate this weekend’s summit, as will issues such as the upcoming North Korea summit, the nuclear deal with Iran, and climate change. For his part, Trump has already apparently indicated that he intends to leave the summit early, before the scheduled talks on climate change, ostensibly with the intention of heading directly for Singapore to prepare for the summit meeting next Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This latest announcement by Trump, which seemed to come out of nowhere, is likely to further complicate relationships that have already become complicated thanks to Trump’s insistence on creating distance between the United States and its closest allies.

As with everything that Trump does, it’s unclear what exactly motivated him to bring up the issue of readmitting Russia to the G-7 and it’s unclear whether he will actually press this issue during the summit this weekend. As noted in the article above, Russia was expelled from what had come to be known as the G-8 in 2014 in the wake of its armed intervention and eventual annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, an action that was subsequently followed up with open backing for rebels fighting the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine, which has a significant ethnic Russian population. In the wake of that incident, the world has seen increased Russian intervention in Ukraine, including both the presence of Russian troops in the area and the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines 777 by a Russian missile system that was either given to the Ukrainian rebels or manned by Russian forces at the time the missile was fired. In addition to that, Russia has directly intervened in the civil war in Syria in what is clearly a blatant effort to support the Assad government in its war against rebel forces and protect its own interests in the area, such as the fact that Syria is home to Russia’s only warm-water base outside of Russian territory. On top of all of this, Russia has intervened in elections around the world, including in the United States in 2016, in what seems like an obvious effort to stoke division and create chaos, and has given every indication that it intends to keep doing so.

Given this record, there’s no rational reason to bring Russia back into the fold of the G-7, and it’s likely that Trump’s suggestion would be widely rejected if he tries to press it this weekend.

 

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, National Security, Politicians, Russia, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. SKI says:

    I’m not sure what is worse: that Trump is indeed in collusion with Russia or that he is not but is still acting as if he was.

    15
  2. Kathy says:

    G6 + 2 at some point begins to look like a chemical formula rather than the designation for a group of nations. G6 looks much better.

    1
  3. Kathy says:

    If it were me in the G-7, I’d proppose a binding resolution that Russia is not to be allowed back in until and unless it cedes Crimea back to Ukraine, and pays hefty reparations for having intervened. assuming such a resolution doesn’t exist already.

    Yes, I know chances are 101% Putin won’t even consider it while he rules. But he can’t rule forever.

    8
  4. michael reynolds says:

    There is not the slightest question that Trump has been very good for Russia, very bad for NATO and the EU, very bad for Mexico and Canada, and very bad for the power and prestige of the United States.

    He is either a Russian tool, or cosplaying as a Russian tool.

    15
  5. Mister Bluster says:

    There must be more than just a P P video…donkeys???

    1
  6. michael reynolds says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    It’s not about the pee, it’s about money. Trump went broke. Trump couldn’t get a loan. Then suddenly, overnight, Trump was spending lots of cash and his son announced that they had plenty of Russian money.

    Trump can tolerate sexual embarrassment, what he cannot tolerate is poverty and loss of status. That’s why he won’t show his tax returns, because if you subtract Russian dirty money, Trump is quite likely, broke. He’s not a traitor from conviction, he’s a traitor for cash. America’s very own Judas Iscariot.

    18
  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Seriously…Is there any doubt left that Dennison is a Russian asset?

    7
  8. Franklin says:

    “Russia should be in this meeting,” Mr. Trump said. “Why are we having a meeting without Russia being in the meeting? And I would recommend — and it’s up to them, but Russia should be in the meeting, it should be a part of it. You know, whether you like it or not, and it may not be politically correct, but we have a world to run and the G-7 — which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”

    Almost 100 words here and I can’t discern an argument.

    7
  9. James Pearce says:

    The G7 is going to be the G6 before Trump is done…

    3
  10. gVOR08 says:

    As with everything that Trump does, it’s unclear what exactly motivated him to bring up the issue

    True. And there isn’t any shred of a reason to give Trumpsky the benefit of any doubt before going where @michael reynolds: @Mister Bluster: @Daryl and his brother Darryl: went.

  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Why does Russia need to be in the G6 + 1 meeting?
    Isn’t Dennison already representing their best interests?

    9
  12. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Would you trust a vain, vacuous Cheeto with the temperament of a cranky toddler to represent your interests?

    Unlike Trump, alas, Putin is not an idiot.

    2
  13. Kylopod says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Trump can tolerate sexual embarrassment

    I would dispute that assertion. He’s got the mind of an adolescent boy. He doesn’t mind being known as a guy who scores with babes, but he very much does mind being exposed as a pervert with a tiny wee-wee. Comey says he was damn near obsessed with the rumored pee tape, and I don’t think that can be explained by mere insecurity over the truth of his financial situation.

    5
  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Every day I am more convinced there is a pee tape; I’m a pee-liever.

    1
  15. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Mueller just dropped a ginormous bomb.
    They issued a 3rd superceding indictment against Manafort to include Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian/Ukranian operative with ties to the GRU.
    This is the first indictment from Mueller that charges the Campaign Chair with conspiring (so-called collusion) with Russian Intelligence.
    Let’s see how Donnie “No Collusion” Dennison tries to move the goalposts, now.
    Have a happy Friday, my friends.
    https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1005147201558007808

    4
  16. al Ameda says:

    President Trump called on the world’s leading economies on Friday to reinstate Russia to the Group of 7 nations four years after it was cast out for annexing Crimea, once again putting him at odds with America’s leading allies in Europe and Asia.

    As Trump himself said earlier this year:

    “There’s been nobody tougher on Russia than President Donald Trump,” he said. “With the media, no matter what I did, it’s never tough enough, because that’s their narrative. But Russia will tell you, there’s been nobody tougher than Donald Trump.”

    No it’s not enough to trash Canada and all of our long time allies and alliances, this all must happen so that we may indulge the president’s business and ‘finance’ interests in Russia. This alone should be cause enough for a non-Devin Nues led investigation of Trump.

    Isn’t it time to take out the trash at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    5
  17. teve tory says:

    I remember when republican presidents were strong opponents of russia, instead of unindicted co-conspirators, with indicted acquaintances.

    If republicans had decent values we’d have President Pence by now. But if republicans had decent values we’d have had a better president to begin with.

    4
  18. An Interested Party says:

    Isn’t it time to take out the trash at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    That would require Republicans to have principles rather than being scared to death of the Orange Blob’s rabid followers…alas…

  19. teve tory says:

    That would require Republicans to have principles rather than being scared to death of the Orange Blob’s rabid followers…alas…

    while it’s finally come round to bite them in the ass, it’s worth noting that the Southern Strategy was a gangbuster move 60 years ago. Nixon got like 60% of the vote, no prez since has gotten that.

    The GOP got voters who were racists angry about desegregation, so you fire them up with easy stories about welfare queens and cadillacs and bucks and t-bones. The GOP got voters who were older, so they had plenty of free time to go to the polls. The GOP got voters who were less educated, so you can give your donors big tax breaks while telling your rubes it was sure to trickle down. The GOP got voters who were religious so you conspire with the power-hungry Moral Majority types and they deliver their flock. If their interest waned you just yell Bortins! Bortins! Bortins! and bob’s your uncle.

    For a long time it was wildly successful.

  20. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:

    Agree. Absolutely. Trump’s spent his entire adult life bragging about the beautiful babes (“the top women,” as he calls them) he’s scored. He’s boasted about his adulteries.

    Two exceptions here: He’s clearly terrified of Stormy Daniels, and it’s not because he cheated on Melania with her. (Melania knows what she married and probably accepts it, although she can’t be enjoying the news exposure. So to speak.) Clearly Daniels knows something to Trump’s detriment. Second exception: The Russians have something on him–probably a videotape in which he’s identifiable–and he’s terrified of that being made public.

    So, yes. He can be sexually humiliated if his inadequacies or proclivities are exposed. Again, so to speak.

    2
  21. Kathy says:

    @al Ameda:

    Isn’t it time to take out the trash at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

    Way past time. Waaaaaay past.

    In the beginning it was just unsightly. By now it stinks to high heaven, and has attracted tons of rats and other vermin.

  22. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Second exception: The Russians have something on him–probably a videotape in which he’s identifiable–and he’s terrified of that being made public.

    I have a notion of the kind of tape the Russians might have, if they have one: a BDSM session starring the Great Cheeto Himself.

    Now, BDSM is a broad kink, with many possibilities. You can have something mild like the Cheeto being spanked and begging for more, or paddled, or whipped. You may have him dressed as a French maid, kissing the feet of a dominatrix (sorry for the nightmare mental images; you’ll never think a French maid’s uniform sexy ever again!). Or more serious stuff like a woman peeing into Trump’s mouth, or even making a different, more substantial, kind of scatological deposit in Dennison’s oral aperture.

    That would make even some on his base recoil in disgust. And I’d like to see the evangelicals rationalize their way out of it.

    But, you know, up to a point I hope there is no such tape, as inevitably it will come out and be seen, and there is only so much eye sanitizer in the world 😉

  23. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    The fundies and the Trumpkins would claim the tape was a fake. And some of them would even believe it.

    But that still doesn’t explain why Trump is so worried about it.

    1
  24. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    But, you know, up to a point I hope there is no such tape, as inevitably it will come out and be seen, and there is only so much eye sanitizer in the world

    I hope there is such a tape.

    I admit my feeling isn’t totally rational. It probably wouldn’t make impeachment any likelier, and in some ways it would be a distraction from far more important matters. But it would be the most glorious bit of Schadenfreude since this monster took over the country.

  25. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    But that still doesn’t explain why Trump is so worried about it.

    I think on top of all his many character and personality flaws, the Cheeto may also be very insecure. Notice how he plays to the base every single day. I can’t think of another occupant of the Oval Office who managed to be in the news every day, non-stop, even when not much was happening. So he must feel he could lose it all at any time.

  26. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I hope there is such a tape.

    Come to think of it, I don’t think there’s such a thing as eye sanitizer.

  27. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “As with everything that Trump does, it’s unclear what exactly motivated him to bring up the issue of readmitting Russia to the G-7 …”

    The remaining members, led by President Barack Obama, expelled it…

    Somethings are as simple as they appear.

    @Kathy: No, but you can buy mental floss at Walmart.

  28. Mikey says:

    I don’t know why Trump is calling for Russia to be at the meeting. I mean, he’s there himself, so Russia is already represented…

    1