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#Trump says it’s ‘common sense’ to let Russia rejoin G7

Trump says it’s ‘common sense’ to let Russia rejoin G7

June 3, 2020 | 12:15pm

President Trump said on Wednesday it is simply “common sense” to have Russia return to the G7 and to open a path for dialogue with Moscow.

The president was asked on Brian Kilmeade’s Fox News radio show if Putin deserved to be admitted to the group after being ousted in 2014 over Russia’s invasion of Crimea.

“The problem is many of the things that we talk about are about Putin. So we’re just sitting around wasting time because then you have to finish your meeting and somebody has to call Putin or deal with Putin on different things. And I say, have him in the room… I don’t say, ‘deserving’ or ‘not deserving,’ I say, ‘common sense.’ Get things done.”

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Trump said the Russian leader needs to be included in the G7 discussions, adding that it would be easier to have nuclear negotiations if Putin was in the room.

“I want to have a nuclear pact, safe nuclear, because nuclear is the single biggest problem the world has,” the president said.

The president told reporters aboard Air Force One on Saturday that he was going to postpone this year’s meeting of the G7 until fall because of the coronavirus pandemic and that he wanted to invite non-member nations, Russia, South Korea, India and Australia.

The group’s presidency rotates among the leaders of the member nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the US.

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Russia was expelled from what was then the G8 over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, where it remains a presence.

The other members of the G7 have not been receptive to Trump’s invitation to Putin.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Russia’s “continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G-7 and it will continue to remain out.”

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would veto any plan to readmit Russia.

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