According to Mikrofonnews Agency (MHA), Canada has rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s request Friday to allow Russia back into the G7 fold.
Before leaving for the Group of Seven Summit in Quebec this morning, Trump mused to reporters in Washington that it was time to re-admit Russia. Vladimir Putin was booted from the G8 by the other members due to the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s the Crimean Peninsula, and for backing separatists in eastern Ukraine, Anadolu Agency reports.
“Why are we having a meeting without Russia in the meeting?” Trump said to reporters. “They should let Russia come back because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
Canada was swift to reject the idea.
“Our position has not changed,” said Adam Austen, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs.
It was Canadian then-prime minister Stephen Harper who led the cry to throw Russia out of the G8, which upon Russia’s expulsion became the G7.
“Canada would very, very strongly oppose Putin ever sitting around that table again,” Harper said at the time in 2014. “It would require consensus to bring Russia back and that consensus will just not happen.”
Adding fuel to Trump’s bonfire request was newly-installed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who backed the U.S. president’s suggestion.
But EU President Donald Tusk also rejected the idea.
“Let’s leave the G7 as it is…it’s a lucky number at least in our culture,” he said.
Tusk is attending the two-day G7 Summit in Quebec, along with leaders from the seven-largest world economies.
Membership includes Canada, the U.S., UK, Italy, France, Japan and Germany.