Donald Trump is using his position as President of the United States to once again act as a surrogate and advocate for Vladimir Putin. The President on Friday called for the inclusion of Russia in the G7 summit. Russia was removed from the summit in 2014 over the annexation of Crimea. On the eve of the summit, Trump took issue with the move, complaining about Putin’s absence.
According to the BBC, the U.S. President arrived at the summit with hostilities already evident and declared his disappointment in the lack of Russian presence.
You know, whether you like it or – and it may not be politically correct – but we have a world to run and in the G7, which used to be the G8 they threw Russia out, they should let Russia come back in.
French President Emmanuel Macro has already spoken forcefully about the summit’s willingness to reduce in size further to a group of six if Trump won’t cooperate.
The American President may not mind being isolated, but neither do we mind signing a 6 country agreement if need be. Because these 6 countries represent values, they represent an economic market which has the weight of history behind it and which is now a true international force https://t.co/UA86fcjozs
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 7, 2018
In 2014, a planned meeting of the eight world powers in Sochi, Russia, was canceled and Russia was suspended from the group, the rest of which met in Brussels. The Council for Foreign Relations backgrounder on the divide calls the suspension a reprimand, describing the message as an assertion that those who don’t meet expected standards of behavior in domestic and international matters aren’t welcome in the group.
Macron’s statement, specifically alluding to the shared values of the remaining world powers in the meeting, seems to reiterate that warning and widen it to include America as represented by Donald Trump.
It’s already clear that Trump’s expectations of the summit don’t match those of the other world leaders present. Friday morning he tweeted a claim that the entire program would “…mostly center on the long time unfair trade practiced against the United States.”
I am heading for Canada and the G-7 for talks that will mostly center on the long time unfair trade practiced against the United States. From there I go to Singapore and talks with North Korea on Denuclearization. Won’t be talking about the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax for a while!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2018
The official schedule, published by Newsweek here, shows a much more realistic agenda, including peace, gender equality, and climate change as well as economic growth for all.