12:42 GMT +318 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he would support Russia's return to the group and subsequent resumption of the G8 format. Trump said he believed Russia was initially expelled from the G8 because Russian President Vladimir Putin had "outsmarted" his predecessor Barack Obama.

    Russia is waiting for specific proposals regarding its potential invitation to the G7 summit in 2020, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday, a day after US President Donald Trump reportedly agreed to French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion that Russia be welcomed back to the annual gathering.

    "Specific proposals should be formed and submitted to Russia for consideration", Zakharova said on the Govorit Moskva broadcaster, calling for a serious discussion on the issue instead of speculations.

    Earlier, President Donald Trump spoke with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron about the upcoming G7 summit, White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed in a statement on Wednesday after local media reported that the two leaders discussed inviting Russia to group's 2020 gathering. 

    "President Donald J. Trump had a call with President Emmanuel Macron of France yesterday to discuss the upcoming G7 Summit. The President looks forward to participating in productive meetings with world leaders in Biarritz, France, in the coming days", Deere said in a readout of the call.

    CNN earlier in the day reported that Trump during the call expressed his support for bringing Russia back into the G7 group of industrialised nations.

    The White House statement did not say whether the two leaders discussed the topic of inviting Russia to the group's next gathering, which is slated to be held in the United States.

    According to the CNN report, Trump is expected to raise the idea of inviting Russia when he meets with world leaders at this weekend's annual gathering in Biarritz.

    Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday that he would support a move to bring Russia back into the group and to resume work of this group in the G8 format. At the same time, Trump expressed the opinion that Russia was expelled from the G8 because Russian President Vladimir Putin "outsmarted" Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama.

    The leaders of the seven largest economies — the United States, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Canada — will gather at the French seaside resort of Biarritz for their annual summit from August 24-26.

    Russia's membership in the G8 was suspended in 2014 following the start of the Ukrainian crisis.


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