Canada and the United Kingdom would not support Russia’s return to the G7, proposed earlier by United States president Donald Trump.

The Group of Seven of the world’s major industrialized countries is currently comprised of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. Five years ago, Russia was excluded from the then-G8 over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

On Saturday, Trump said he would postpone the summit until September or later because of the coronavirus pandemic. He added he would seek to expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India. Australia said it would welcome an official announcement.

“Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out”, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said.

A spokesman for UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday said that any push by Trump to readmit Russia to the G7 would be vetoed by the UK, unless Russia “ceases aggressive and destabilising activity that threatens the safety of UK citizens and the collective security of our allies”. The government has earlier blamed Russia for the 2018 nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian double agent in Salisbury, England.

On Monday, Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, said that  “president Putin is a supporter of dialogue in all directions”, but that before responding, Moscow needed to know what might be on the agenda of the proposed meeting and its format.

Decisions on G7 membership are subject to the unanimous backing of all members.


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