President Trump, at the annual summit meeting, suggested that Russia be readmitted into the G-7, the group of 7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) which meet to discuss world-economic policy. Russia was ousted from the then G-8 in 2014 for seizing parts of the Ukraine. Trump defended his suggestion, stating as follows:
“You know, whether you like it or not — and it may not be politically correct — but we have a world to run. And in the G-7, which used to be the G-8, they threw Russia out. They should let Russia come back in. Because we should have Russia at the negotiating table.”
President Trump acted antagonistically at the summit meeting, rendering himself an outsider, and causing some to refer to it as “G-6 plus 1.” For some this is a cause of concern: Trump treating allies as enemies and enemies as allies. And it could further bolster the theory that there was and is collusion going on between Russia and Trump; however, it is unclear that that rejoining the G-8 is actually on Putin’s agenda. In response to the news, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said that “we are putting emphasis on different formats,” insinuating that Russia is not particularly interested in rejoining the G-7. Russian officials made similar comments in 2014 when they were removed: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia was “not attached to this format and we don’t see a great misfortune if it will not gather.” So if Trump is acting on behalf of Russia, it is the result of some very coy maneuvering. Regardless of the reason for his stance, however, it betrays more of the same peculiar friendless we have seen since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. We will find out exactly what it means in due time.