Listen Live
    U.S. President Donald Trump gathers with (L-R) European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May as they attend the G7 Summit in Taormina, Sicily, Italy, May 26, 2017.

    EU Believes Inviting Russia to Rejoin G7 Would Be Sign of Weakness - Source

    © REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
    Europe
    Get short URL
    19149
    Subscribe

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The European Union is against inviting Russia to the G7 format and thus resuming the G8 format until the country addresses the issues that led to its exclusion back in 2014, a high-ranking source in EU institutions told reporters on Thursday in Brussels.

    According to the source, the European Union believes that since Russia has not resolved the issues due to which it was excluded from the format, inviting it to G7 meetings would be counterproductive and would also be a sign of weakness.

    "Reasons for Russian exclusion in 2014 are still valid today as they were valid 5 years ago. So the EU will be against the idea of re-inviting Russia to G7... There [it] has been clearly stated that unconditional re-invitation of Russia to the G7 meetings would be counterproductive and a sign of weakness," the source said.

    The source stressed that the bloc maintained a dialogue with Russia through G20 format, while G7 should unite democratic nations sharing common values.

    "The G7 should continue as a community of democracies respecting the rule of law and common values," the source stressed.

    US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday, ahead of the G7 summit in France's Biarritz, that he would support Russia's possible return to the format. Trump said he had agreed on French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal to invite Russia to the G7 summit in 2020.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rear left, and and U.S. President Donald Trump, rear third left, attend a round table meeting of G7 leaders and Outreach partners at the Hotel San Domenico during a G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, Saturday, May 27, 2017
    © AP Photo / Domenico Stinellis
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rear left, and and U.S. President Donald Trump, rear third left, attend a round table meeting of G7 leaders and Outreach partners at the Hotel San Domenico during a G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, Saturday, May 27, 2017

    The G8 format was established in 1998 but was reduced to G7 after Russia was expelled in 2014 due to being accused of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs in the wake of Crimea's decision to rejoin Russia and the eruption of the military conflict in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas. Russia has refuted the accusations, stressing that Crimea rejoined it following a legitimate referendum.

    The G7 is now composed of the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada. Its annual summit will be held in Biarritz from August 24-26.

    Tags:
    G7 Summit, G8, G7, Russia, European Union
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik