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.
En s'opposant au retour de la Russie dans un nouveau G8, l'UE nous rejoue une absurde parodie de Guerre froide.— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) 22 августа 2019 г.
En plus d'être anachronique, cette idéologie anti-russe est totalement contre-productive pour les intérêts des Nations européennes ! MLP
“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.”
'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.
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.