Europeans unanimously oppose Russia G7 return: France
LA MALBAIE, Canada, June 8, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – European members of the G7 unanimously oppose US President Donald Trump’s call for Russia to be readmitted into the club, French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said Friday.
Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and new Italian premier Giuseppe Conte agreed on a common stance on Russia during talks together on the sidelines of the G7 summit, which is taking place in Canada.
“The common European position is against the return of Russia,” one senior aide to Macron told reporters, although the leaders did leave open “the possibility of establishing dialogue” with Moscow.
Conte, who is attending his first summit, had earlier indicated that he was in favor of Trump’s proposal to welcome Russia back into an organization from which it was frozen out after annexing Crimea in 2014.
May — whose government has accused Russia of being behind the poisoning of a former spy in Britain earlier this year — said that the G7 had to be convinced that Moscow had changed.
“We have always been clear that we should engage with Russia. The phrase I’ve used is engage but beware,” she told Britain’s Sky News.
“Let’s remember why the G8 became the G7. And before discussions could begin on any of this, we would have to ensure Russia is amending its ways and taking a different route.”