16:16 GMT24 September 2020
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - The G7 format can be changed, including the inclusion of Russia or other countries in the group, only by a unanimous decision of the leaders of all the member states, the German cabinet's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said on Wednesday, commenting on US President Donald Trump's initiative.

    "Any change can be introduced to the format only if a relevant decision is made at a summit. At the same time, the practice of inviting guests has always existed", Seibert said at a briefing when asked about the German government's attitude to the idea of altering the G7 format.

    Earlier this week, Trump briefed Russian President Vladimir Putin on his idea to invite the leaders of Russia, India, Australia, and South Korea to the G7 summit in September, calling the current format "outdated".

    Moscow approved this statement, noting, however, that other countries, including China, should also join, and praising the G20 as a much more effective platform.

    President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron wrap up a joint press conference at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019
    © AP Photo / Andrew Harnik
    President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron wrap up a joint press conference at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019

    At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell criticised this idea, claiming that Washington alone cannot change the format or membership on a permanent basis. At the moment, the G7 includes the US, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, and France.

    Tags:
    G7 Summit, G7, G7, Donald Trump, Germany, United States, Russia
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