09:23 GMT24 September 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States lacks the international standing to expand the G7 to include Russia which, if added, would oppose most of President Donald Trump’s divisive policies anyway, former US ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State for International Security Affairs, Chas Freeman, told Sputnik.

    "For better or ill, the United States is no longer in a position to determine the composition of multilateral organizations or groupings," Freeman said on Friday. "Ironically, were Russia to return to the grouping or China to join it, neither would be supportive of the positions of the Trump administration that have divided the United States from its major trading partners and allies."

    Freeman said Trump was probably trying to point to Russia's absence from the erstwhile G8 to "denigrate the legitimacy of the G7."

    On Friday, the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major advanced economies — namely the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada — kicked off a two-day annual summit in Quebec. The group used to be called the G8 before Russia's membership was suspended in 2014 after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis.

    Trump earlier in the day told reporters the G7 states should allow Russia to rejoin the group. The US president said the G7 has a "world to run," and Russia should be at the negotiating table.

    Chas Freeman is a lifetime director of the Atlantic Council and served as US Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the US embassies in Beijing and Bangkok. Freeman also held several senior level positions at the US Defense Department.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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