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    Marine Le Pen Blasts EU's Opposition to Russia's G8 Return as ‘Absurd Parody of the Cold War’

    © AFP 2019 / Vincent Kessler
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    Earlier, following remarks by President Trump that he had agreed with French President Emmanuel Macron that Russia should be welcomed back into the Group of Eight discussion format of advanced industrialised economies, Moscow said that it expects “specific proposals” on the matter.

    European Union politicians opposed to the restoration of the G8 format to include Russia are engaged in an ‘anachronistic’ policy which only harms their own interests, National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen has said.

    “By opposing Russia’s return to a new G8, the European Union is replaying an absurd parody of the Cold War,” Le Pen wrote in a post on Twitter.

    “In addition to being anachronistic, this anti-Russian ideology is totally counter-productive to the interests of European nations,” she added.

    On Thursday, a ‘high-ranking source’ in Brussels told reporters that the EU was against inviting Russia back to the G7 format, saying doing so would be “counterproductive and a sign of weakness.”

    Oxfam activists wearing masks of the leaders of the G7 summit; from left, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stage a demonstration in Giardini Naxos, near the venue of the G7 summit in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017
    © AP Photo / Paolo Santalucia
    Oxfam activists wearing masks of the leaders of the G7 summit; from left, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stage a demonstration in Giardini Naxos, near the venue of the G7 summit in the Sicilian town of Taormina, southern Italy, Friday, May 26, 2017

    'Specific Proposals' Required

    On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump said he could “certainly” support Russia’s return to the G7 to recreate the G8 group of nations. Trump reportedly voiced support for the idea based on a recommendation by French President Emmanuel Macron that Russia be invited to the upcoming G7 summit in 2020, when the US will take over the group’s presidency.

    On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marina Zakharova said that “specific proposals” needed to be formulated “and submitted to Russia for consideration” by the G7 before Moscow could make a formal decision on the issue.

    The building of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow
    © Sputnik / Maksim Blinov
    The building of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow

    Senior officials from several other G7 states have since sounded off on the idea, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying Russia’s return to the group should be contingent on the implementation of the Minsk accords, the agreements seeking to return peace to eastern Ukraine following the civil conflict raging there in the aftermath of the Maidan coup in Ukraine in 2014. Russia has repeatedly indicated that it is a guarantor to the accords, not a party to the conflict.

    An anonymous Canadian official told Reuters that Russia would not be invited to the 2020 meeting, and said that Canada’s position “remains the same as last year when this came up as well. The answer was no.”

    G8 Minus One

    Russia saw its membership in the group suspended in 2014 as a result of the Ukrainian crisis, when pro-EU politicians in Kiev staged the Maidan coup, prompting Crimea to break off from Ukraine and rejoin Russia following a peninsula-wide referendum.

    Russia was invited to join the G7 in 1997 as a goodwill gesture to post Soviet-Russia acknowledging the country’s reforms and desire to join Western institutions.

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