Trump's demands for Russia's readmission cause row at G7 summit

Trump's demands for Russia's readmission cause row at G7 summit

U.S. President Donald Trump has rowed with his fellow G7 leaders over his demand that Russia be readmitted to the group, rejecting arguments that it should remain an association of liberal democracies, the Guardian reported, citing diplomats at the summit in Biarritz.

The disagreement led to heated exchanges at a dinner on August 24. According to diplomatic sources, Trump argued strenuously that Russia should be invited back.

Of the other leaders around the table, only Giuseppe Conte, the outgoing Italian prime minister, offered Trump any support, according to this account. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe was neutral. The rest – UK PM Boris Johnson, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau, EU council president Donald Tusk and French president Emmanuel Macron – pushed back firmly against the suggestion.

"On that point … it became a bit tense to say the least," a European diplomat said, noting that most of the other leaders insisted on this being "a family, a club, a community of liberal democracies" and for that reason they said you cannot allow Russia – who does not represent that – back in.

The diplomat added that the U.S. leader argued that on issues such as Iran, Syria and North Korea, it made sense to have Russia in the room.

A European source told TASS in Brussels that this topic was discussed in detail, but so far there is no accord on Russia’s possible return to the organization. According to the source, the G7 was now interested in Russia’s return to the club due to the toughening political competition with the G20, where Russia was playing a significant role.